Two teams of intrepid skydivers have signed up to take part in 10,000 foot Tandem Skydives at Langar Airfield to raise funds for Nottingham Hospitals Charity’s Saving Lives Helipad Appeal.
The appeal is raising £3 million to build an onsite helipad at Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), which will reduce transfer times for patients with life-threatening injuries being taken to the East Midlands Major Trauma Centre by air ambulance from across the region.
The first Tandem Skydive on Saturday 18 April will involve four members of staff from the Major Trauma Centre team: Auxiliary Nurse Danielle Saville, Staff Nurse Linzi Dunkley, Deputy Sister Chelsey Sills and Healthcare Assistant Margaret Mobbs. Stephen Fletcher, husband of Outpatients Assistant, Dawn Fletcher, will also be joining the ladies for the parachute jump – after a little arm-twisting from his wife!
Danielle, Linzi, Chelsey and Margaret all work in QMC’s Major Trauma Unit, Ward C30, which provides specialist care for patients who are too poorly to be on a general ward but don’t require High Dependency or Intensive Care. Like all the members of the Major Trauma Centre team, they frequently care for seriously-injured patients who have been transferred to QMC by air ambulance.
‘Critically-injured patients in need of life-saving treatment arrive at QMC every day,’ says Danielle, 24. ‘Last week alone, we saw 121 expert care and specialist facilities available at the Major Trauma Centre. Every second counts for patients with life-threatening injuries, but at the moment it takes up to 20 minutes for air ambulance patients to complete their journey to QMC by road. With an onsite helipad, this transfer time will be reduced to less than 5 minutes – helping save time, to save lives.’
Linzi, also, 24, adds: ‘QMC is the Major Trauma Centre for the whole of the East Midlands, so the new helipad will benefit air ambulance patients from across the region. Like everyone who works at the Major Trauma Centre, the four of us are hugely passionate about the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal – and that’s why we decided to do something a bit different to raise funds. Personally, I hate heights so this is a big challenge for me and not something that my friends or family would have expected me to do.’
The second team to take to the skies is Hillary’s Blinds, who’ll be jumping on Sunday 12 April. Eight daring staff members have volunteered to jump out of a plane flying at 10,000 feet and freefall through the air for the first 5,000 feet – at speeds of up to 120mph! Each person will be harnessed to a professional parachute instructor, who’ll help steer the parachute over the centre of the drop zone before making a controlled landing.
Ellen Wilson, Charity Committee Head at the Colwick-based firm, comments: ‘Hayward House, a hospice at City Hospital that’s supported by Nottingham Hospitals Charity, is Hillarys’ selected charity for all our fundraising, but we jumped at the opportunity of supporting the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal too by taking part in the Tandem Skydive. We have a team of eager divers who are ready to raise lots of cash for an extremely worthy cause – and throwing themselves out of a plane is definitely a fun way of doing it!’
Show your support for the skydivers You can support the two skydives as a whole or one or more individual fundraisers by visiting www.everydayhero.co.uk/event/helipadskydive. Or, you can donate directly to the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal by calling 0115 962 7905 or online at www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk.
Like to try a Tandem Skydive?
Nottingham Hospitals Charity will be organising more fundraising skydives in aid of the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal later in the year, so please get in touch if you’d like to put your name down. You can contact Naomi Walters, Fundraiser at the charity, on 0115 962 7905 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
‘It’s a once in a lifetime chance to make an exhilarating freefall parachute jump and raise money for an amazing cause,’ says Naomi. ‘Just get in touch for more information and to sign up, or if you’d like us to provide a few fundraising ideas to get you started.’
The Saving Lives Helipad Appeal
For more information about Nottingham Hospitals Charity and the Saving Lives Helipad Appeal, please call 0115 962 7905 or visit www.nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk. To keep up with the latest news and events for the appeal, please follow @NUHCharity on Twitter.
1. Figure covers the period Monday 16 March 2015 to midnight on Sunday 22 March.
2. Sign-up is subject to medical restrictions.