Left to right, Victoria Bell, Gareth Morris and Darren Booker.
Three brave employees from Focus Consultants are taking the plunge for charity with a tandem skydive in aid of a cause close to their hearts.
The parachute jump will also be part of the celebrations to mark the 21st birthday of Focus Consultants, which is based in Nottingham and has offices in Leicester, London, Boston and Aubourn near Lincoln.
The team will be raising money for St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, which gave care and support to the wife and family of Focus senior building surveyor Darren Booker. Elizabeth Booker was 47 when she passed away last year following her diagnosis of a rare form of Non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
Darren, who works in the Boston office of Focus, will be joined by two colleagues, 16-year-old admin apprentice Victoria Bell, who also works in the Boston office, and sustainability surveyor Gareth Morris, who is based in Leicester. Their tandem parachute jump is scheduled to take place at Langar Airfield near Nottingham on Sunday 13th September.
Darren, from Bassingham, near Lincoln, said: “This is my personal challenge in tribute to Liz, who was so very brave in facing her illness and no matter how she felt she would always have a smile for you.
“St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice gave us both the support and care that was so very priceless at the most difficult of times. They were not the only organisation to help Liz but they were there right to the end. This challenge is what I have wanted to do for many years but Liz would not let me for fear of something going wrong and losing me.”
Between them, the trio hope to raise more than £1,200. Focus Consultants, which offers a range of services, including funding and economic development, regeneration expertise, energy consultancy and chartered surveying services, is donating £300 to the cause as part of the firm’s 21st birthday celebrations. The company has also chosen St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice as its charity for 2015/2016 and earlier this year it handed over £230 after staging its annual golf day.
It will be the first experience of its kind for all three volunteers when they take the plunge next month.
Victoria, a former pupil of Haven High Academy in Boston, said: “I wanted to do the challenge for the experience. It is for a great charity so I thought there’s no better time to do it as I’ll be able to raise money to help at the same time.”
Meanwhile, Gareth said: “I am doing the jump because I feel passionate about the charity in question and have always wanted to do a skydive. This is an opportunity to do something from my bucket list but also help the less fortunate at the same time.”
Housing group Longhurst has also donated £100 to the challenge. Liz Booker had worked at the group for 23 years and was business development co-ordinator there before she passed away.
Trevor Newton, Focus partner based at the Boston office, said: “We are full of admiration for Darren, Victoria and Gareth, who have stepped forward for this challenge and are raising money for such a deserving charity. Everyone at Focus Consultants wishes them all the best.”
The intrepid trio will take part in a 10,000 feet freefall parachute jump, reaching speeds of more than 120mph as they dive through the air. They will freefall (without the parachute deployed) for several thousand feet, harnessed to a professional parachute instructor at all times throughout the descent, with the instructor in control of the landing.
St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice has been providing specialist palliative and end-of-life care for more than 30 years across Lincolnshire. In the last 12 months St Barnabas has cared for and supported 1,215 people within the Boston area through their day therapy, hospice at home, out-patient and in-patient services. The charity has to raise more than £4 million this year to be able to provide these services to its patients and their families.
Each of the three volunteers has their own fundraising page and would welcome any donations: