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Get to the chopper and take the plunge for Cornerstone

Posted: 6th September 2016


Falck - Underwater

Scottish social care charity Cornerstone has teamed up with a leading safety training firm to offer a unique fundraising challenge for those keen to get a behind the scenes look at the oil and gas industry.

The Chopper Challenge, which is being hosted by Falck Safety Services in Dyce, will take place on Thursday, November 17 and will give participants a taste of life in the offshore energy sector.

Numbers are strictly limited to 16 spaces and those who sign up will undertake a detailed safety briefing by Falck’s expert instructors before being strapped into its world-class Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (HUET) simulator and plunged into the pool. Each participant will put their escape training and in-water survival techniques to the test as they strive to swim to the surface.

Lisa Duthie, Director of Corporate Relations and Fundraising at Cornerstone, said: “The Chopper Challenge is a unique opportunity to take part in an activity usually only reserved for those who travel offshore and will be a real test – both physically and mentally.

“The money raised will help Cornerstone provide specialist support and services to adults, young people and children across the North-east who have learning disabilities, physical disabilities or other complex needs. Plus, thanks to Falck’s extremely generous offer to donate the use of their facilities free of charge, every single penny raised will go directly to Cornerstone and the people we support.”

The HUET simulator is part of a suite of mandatory training courses for all workers travelling offshore by helicopter and this challenge will give members of the public the chance to experience the comprehensive training they undertake before heading to the North Sea rigs.

Colin Leyden, Managing Director of Falck Safety Services UK, said: “We are delighted to be working with Cornerstone to host the Chopper Challenge and look forward to showing off our world-leading facilities to a new audience.

“Many people don’t appreciate the level of training involved before workers can travel offshore and hopefully this event will give the 16 participants a greater understanding of the industry, allowing them to challenge themselves while raising money for a fantastic cause.”

Four teams of four are being sought to take part in the Chopper Challenge with a minimum sponsorship amount of £400 and non-refundable registration fee of £40 per team. However, a limited number of individual spaces may be available on request.

In addition, a post-event drinks reception will be sponsored by local start-up craft brewery, Fierce Beer Co, based in Dyce

All money raised will be used to support Cornerstone’s Quality of Life programme, which aims to transform the lives of people with disabilities and other support needs by providing access to essential specialised equipment, services and activities that might otherwise be unavailable.

Falck Safety Services has 32 training centres across the world – including two UK sites in Aberdeen and Teesside – and is an industry leader in safety training to the oil and gas, shipping, renewable energy, maritime, industrial, military and aviation industries.

Cornerstone provides care and support services for adults, young people and children across Scotland who live with learning disabilities, physical disabilities and other support needs.

Since 1980, Cornerstone has grown to support more than 2,000 people each year, delivering services within 17 local authority areas across Scotland. More information on Cornerstone can be found by visiting

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