Wyre Forest charity KEMP Hospice have more to celebrate in their golden anniversary year as a record number of people signed up to take on a parachute challenge in aid of the local hospice…including a nonagenarian!
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of KEMP, seeing the local charity celebrate five decades of providing care and support to people in the Wyre Forest district who are dealing with a life-limiting illness or bereavement. At the start of this year, KEMP said they were looking for 50 people, across the year to sign up for one of three tandem parachute fundraising challenges. So far 55 people have registered to take part, smashing all records for the local charities annual challenge.
There are three KEMP BIG 50 Jump’s in 2019 – the first took place on April 13th, with the second on Sunday 9th June and the final one due to take place on September 22nd. Twenty people jumped in April, nine took to the skies in June and twenty-six have signed up for the final jump of the year. Taking part in the September jump in aid of KEMP Hospice will be high-flying Stourport pensioner Gordon Maycroft. Gordon will celebrate his 90th birthday ahead of ‘taking the plunge’ and it is hoped that his flight will inspire others to sign up for the KEMP BIG 50 JUMP challenge.
Challenges Fundraiser at KEMP Hospice, Shelley Stanley said that she was blown away by the numbers signing up: “We set ourselves a big target, finding 50 people to take up our KEMP BIG 50 JUMP challenge for this year, however that target has been smashed. It’s more than double the number from last year. I find it amazing that people want to throw themselves out of a plane for us, I certainly couldn’t do it. Gordon, and everyone else that’s signed up are so brave and so supportive of the work we do here in the Wyre Forest district.”
Shelley said that she hoped Gordon would inspire others to take part: “Gordon is an absolute legend – he told me that he wanted to do something special to mark his big birthday and our golden anniversary too. For someone of 90 years of age to want to take up this challenge is fantastic. It is inspiring that people are prepared to do this for KEMP, to take on a challenge on behalf of people who face incredible challenges every single day. The money raised will mean so much to us; it will allow us to provide vital care and support to people who really need it. Each person that has signed up has pledged to raise sponsorship and that money will go directly towards ensuring we can help families locally who are dealing with life-limiting illnesses or bereavement. Our services are free-of-charge and I have seen first-hand the positive impact that the work of KEMP provides. I hope more people will sign up to take on a KEMP BIG JUMP challenge, anyone wishing to sign up for our 2020 jumps can get in touch with me now, and we can then look forward to helping even more people at their time of need.”
Over the last three years, the 13,000ft tandem parachute jumps in aid of KEMP have raised over £30,000 and it is hoped that this year’s trio of jumps could beat that collective figure. The parachute jumps take place at Hinton’s Skydiving Centre in Brackley on the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire border. Anyone wishing to book a place for a KEMP Hospice charity parachute jump can find out more information on KEMP’s website at www.kemphospice.org.uk/big50jump or by calling Shelley and the KEMP Fundraising team on 01562 756066.