Courageous colleagues are diving into action to raise funds for the children’s hospice where they work.
Child and Family Practitioner Jan Stanbury-Jones signed up for a 10,000 ft skydive and now she is being joined by Art Therapist Becky Burlinson, Family Support Practitioner Fay Wilde and Care Worker Anna Pinner.
The daredevil quartet work for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and are based at Milton.
Collectively, they hope to raise over £1,000 for the charity, which supports families and cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
Jan hatched the plan after being inspired by student son Jacob, who celebrated his 18th birthday in May. He thought it would be a memorable way to mark the milestone – but didn’t fancy doing it on his own.
“He’d been talking about it for a while, so it didn’t come as a complete shock,” said Jan.
“However, I didn’t expect him to want us to do it with him and he was surprised when I said yes! I was trying to be a cool mum, because getting kudos from your teenage children can be quite hard.
“Then I thought, ‘my goodness, what have I done?’ I’m very nervous but because it’s in tandem, I’m just going to do as I’m told.
“After a while I thought we should try and raise a bit of money for EACH. I mentioned it to the rest of the team and asked if they fancied doing it with me, so now it’s become a team thing and we’re all in it together.”
Jan celebrated a big birthday of her own earlier this year after turning 50.
“I’ve done rock climbing, canyoning, abseiling and white water rafting before and I climbed Snowdon twice,” she said.
“However, I’ve never jumped out of a plane or done anything on this scale. It’s a bit crazy and I can’t deny that I’m scared, but I’ve spoken to lots of people who have done it before and they tell me it’s amazing.
“They say it’s over quickly and, in fact, someone who’s been very supportive is one of our volunteers at Milton, called Dennis.
“He’s in his 70s and did a skydive on his 70th birthday. He said that as soon as he’d done it, he wanted to go up and do it again.
“We can all support each other and give moral support. It makes it more exciting and special, achieving something together.”
The skydive is taking place at Beccles Airfield on 9th September and Jan, Becky, Fay and Anna are determined to raise as much as possible for EACH.
They see first-hand the difference the charity makes to so many children, young people and families.
“It started as something within our family to now being a very special fundraiser,” said Jan.
“It’s very important to me and the rest of the team and now has more purpose. Ideally, we’d like to ring-fence the money for Milton.
“It would be nice to see it directly benefit the families who come through the door at Milton. The work we do can be incredibly tough at times.
“Sometimes it’s the most wonderful, joyful place to work but there are times when it’s very difficult, so supporting the families we work with is important to us all.”
Jan, Becky, Fay and Anna’s skydive is part of a special UK Parachuting event, organised in conjunction with EACH. Others are welcome to join them and, in terms of cost, there are two options.
The first is ‘charity funded’, which requires a £50 booking deposit and then EACH pays the remaining cost of the jump. The fundraiser must raise at least £395.
The other option is ‘self-funded’ and costs £230. However, there is no fundraising target. For more details, head here.
To sponsor Jan and Jacob, head here.