A brave team of staff and supporters took on the challenge of a lifetime in aid of Woking & Sam Beare Hospice on Friday 6th October all choosing to jump out of a perfectly good aeroplane. The 20 strong team of skydivers arrived at the airfield early in the morning to a clear blue sky and the perfect weather for jumping.
Nine team members were jumping in memory of Gill, who had been diagnosed earlier in the year with MND and after seeing a poster for Skydiving whilst visiting the Wellbeing Centre at the hospice declared “I want to do that it’s on my bucket list!”.
Gill gathered a team of family and friends who planned to jump together and began their fundraising for the hospice.
Sadly, Gill passed away shortly before the jump took place, but this did not stop her family and friends coming together in Gills memory to jump, in fact Gill had lined up reserves just in case. It was incredibly emotional watching Gills husband Doug, and her two daughters take on this amazing challenge together.
“Every day at work, I get to support people with the amazing challenges that they do,” says Sam Wakefield, Marketing and Challenge Events Manager. “Their selfless motivation to raise money for the Hospice inspired me to take on my own challenge. And being scared of heights, jumping out of a plane really was the ultimate challenge for me. It’s an experience I will never forget though as it was truly magical. I cried happy tears as I touched the clouds and looked at the world below – it was so peaceful up there.”
Sam was joined by colleagues from across the Hospice who share her passion for wanting to raise funds and increase awareness. Georgia Miles, Felicity Edwards, Sam Jones, Jenny Greenhalgh, and Tammy Stracey who all showed showed true Hospice spirit.
During the day the weather conditions changed and a team of three jumpers were left waiting and hoping that the weather would clear, thankfully the wind picked up blew the clouds away and the final team took to the skies.
One of those patiently waiting was Valerie Hitchcock who wanted to mark her upcoming 80th birthday by joining the Skydive. Val experienced the support of the Hospice first hand when they cared for three members of her family. “I wanted to jump in memory of my daughter, her dad, and my second husband. The Hospice looked after them all and have been my salvation!” commented Val.
As a team they raised over £20,000 for hospice care, and we are so grateful to them all.
If you have been inspired by this amazing team of Hospice Heroes and would like to take on your own challenge ?