Imagine standing at the edge of an open doorway in an aircraft flying at 10,000 feet – the noise of the engines and the wind ringing in your ears with only the outline of distant fields below. Now imagine leaning forward out of that doorway and letting go – falling forward into the clouds, diving down through the air as you start freefalling at over 120mph! Then imagine the peace and quiet as the canopy opens, the steering toggles come down either side of you and you begin a tranquil parachute descent from a mile up in the air, steering yourself back down to the centre of the drop zone below. Does this take your fancy?
Well two of our very own daring Health Care Support Workers, Tracy Atkin and Deborah Hallows are doing just that on Saturday 8th June, at Hibaldstow Airfield. They saw the advert for it in our recent newsletter and decided to embark on it, when asked why they were doing it they simply said “to help raise funds for the patients that we care for and support everyday and we are a little mad.”
They won’t be alone, we also have four other daring individuals who are taking to the skies and collectively they’ve raised over £4,000 so far for the Hospice.
Karen Jaines is also participating in this event, she only signed up a month ago after seeing it advertised in our newsletter, the date of the skydive is particularly significant to her and her family as she explained:
“We lost my brother Andy in October of last year aged just 44, he was a very special person, kind and caring and loved his family dearly. Andy fought his illness bravely and only spent the last two days of his life in the hospice. We were all with him and I was so touched by the care the nurses gave him, and the dignity he was given in his final stages. Also when we returned to the hospice three months later to bring the donations from his funeral, all of the nurses remembered who he was, not just a number. My dad came with us as he had been unable to deal with seeing him in the last few days and the nurses who had looked after Andy talked to my dad and showed him where he had been. Totally amazing and this is my way (from all of my family) of giving a little back to help someone else have that care and compassion they deserve.
It would have been Andy’s 45th birthday on 8th June, that was why it was so important for me to do this skydive on this day, I just had to do this for him, to celebrate his life and hopefully help someone else. We all love him and miss him terribly. He will always be in our hearts forever (I just hope he’s watching over me on the day!)”
Karen’s words are deeply touching and from all at St Barnabas we wish them all the best of luck and hope they have the most amazing experience as they float through the skies. Fundraising Manager – Veronica Brien will be there to support them on the day and said:
“We are extremely grateful to all who decide to support the Hospice in their fundraising efforts throughout the year whether they are hosting a coffee morning, doing a sponsored silence, running a marathon or taking on a challenge such as the skydives. This year we have seen a number of people taking up the skydive challenge already including a group from the Gelder Group company, I can honestly say that I take my hat off to anyone who does the skydives as it is something I could never do. We wish them all the best of luck and look forward to seeing them with their feet firmly planted on the ground afterwards.”
The care and support we provide is all completely free of charge and is supported by donations from people like you, gifts in a will, our fundraising events, lottery membership and income from our 23 charity shops across the county. Each year we have to raise over £3.1 million to ensure this care is available and without the generous support from the local community we simply could not do what we do.
If you would like to support the Hospice in any way you can do so easily by donating online; you can participate in one of our many fun filled events across the county; volunteer your time to us or maybe you’re having a clear out – we’re always looking for items to sell in our 25 charity shops. Any support is gratefully appreciated by all our patients, staff and volunteers. Click here to make a donation or for further information visit our homepage or call us on 01522 540300.