Since 2006, 13th September is celebrated as Roald Dahl Day after an event marking what would have been the author’s 90th birthday proved such a hit.
This year, forty fearless fundraisers – including a Roald Dahl specialist children’s nurse dressed up as Oompa-Loompas and took the leap of a lifetime in the world’s first ever Marvellous Oompa-Loompa Skydive to celebrate Roald Dahl Day.
The event was even more special as Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity was celebrating 50 Whipple-Scrumptious years of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
2014 marks a phenomenal fifty years since Roald Dahl’s much-loved tale Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was first published. Throughout the year, there are celebrations to mark 50 years of Roald Dahl’s iconic book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
The story of Charlie Bucket, the five Golden Tickets, the devilish Oompa-Loompas and the amazing Mr. Willy Wonka has become firmly embedded in our culture, having (twice) been re-imagined for the cinema, as an opera and, in 2013, as a hit West End musical.
Jodi Betts, a Roald Dahl children’s nurse, was one of the first to take part, jumping 13,000 feet and plummeting towards the ground at speeds of over 120mph. “I am so thankful for all of our brave fundraisers who took part and to everyone who generously sponsored them. The skydive itself was a real test for me but it doesn’t even come close to the daily challenges faced by thousands of seriously ill children around the UK.”
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity helps seriously ill and disabled children who have the biggest needs. This might be because they have a serious rare condition, be living in poverty, or not have any family at all. The charity makes life better for seriously ill children in many ways including by creating and funding specialist children’s nurse posts, such as Jodi Betts (pictured above with Oompa-Loompa skydivers).
Jodi is a Roald Dahl specialist nurse based at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridgeshire, who decided to step out of the hospital and then out of a plane. She provides specialist care and support for children and young people with serious blood illnesses in the Eastern region of England.
Jodi said “I was thrilled to be able to give something to Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity because they have created and funded my fantastic role at Addenbrooke’s. I was really scared about doing the jump but then I’d think of all the children I help and it made it all worthwhile.”
Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most inventive, mischievous, successful and loved storytellers. Since his death, his work has not only endured but is still increasing in popularity. His stories are currently available in 58 languages. A conservative estimate of global sales is more than 200 million.