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Fundraiser faces fears for Farleigh

Thursday 22nd September

  • Fundraising & Events
  • Stories

Hayley, 28, is absolutely petrified of heights but she jumped out of an aeroplane to raise money for Farleigh Hospice in memory of her dad. She tells us why she faced her fears for Farleigh.

“My daddy, Richard, was my best friend and the most amazing man that I have ever met. He was the life and soul of the party and he loved the sun.

In September 2020, he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. He had an operation but it was too late and he lost his short battle with cancer on 1 April 2021.

Farleigh Hospice supported my dad in his last few months. The staff were there not only to care for him, but to guide us through the hardest time of our lives. The nurses were so nice and the home care and support that they gave to us made everything a bit easier and more bearable. They gave him the chance to still be my dad, so we could be a family.

They were helping us during the pandemic so I’m sure they had their own problems but they carried on caring, putting other people first. They always made time to talk and were on the phone if we needed them. I am very grateful that they prepared me so I knew what to expect.

I chose to raise money for Farleigh Hospice because I want the money to go directly to the people who helped to care for my dad to say ‘thank you’. Farleigh relies on donations so, without someone fundraising before, my dad wouldn’t have got the care he received.

Anyone that knows me will know I am really scared of planes and heights – so I decided to do a tandem skydive from 10,000 feet with my friend Bex to hopefully raise £1,000.

We did the jump on my 17 May 2022 which would have been my dad’s 61st birthday. It was a two-hour drive to the skydiving centre in Northampton. Bex had done a parachute jump before and she kept me calm - I would’ve pulled out without her being there!

When we arrived, the sun was shining and, looking up, I felt that I was going to see my dad in the sky for his birthday.

We were actually jumping from 13,000 feet. As we flew up, it felt a lot higher than I thought it would be. Bex jumped before me and suddenly I was sitting there, strapped to my guide with my feet hanging out of the plane. I didn‘t have a choice – there was no turning back!

You free fall for about 45 seconds at 120-140 miles per hour before the parachute opens. It was very windy and I found it hard to catch my breath.

I took a moment to myself to be with my dad and I wished him a happy birthday.

The rest of the jump literally flew by. My guide was great, talking about the view, and then I had to concentrate on landing. I thought I would tumble but landed on my feet – very elegant!

I find it overwhelming that I did it. It was very intense – I shiver when I think about it.

Bex and I raised £3,500 for Farleigh Hospice which is much more than we had hoped for and we are very grateful to everyone who sponsored us. Dad had a direct debit to Farleigh for years and we’d never known – so I know I’ve done something that he would have been proud of.

I’m not surprised that Farleigh Hospice has been around for 40 years because of the quality of care that it gives. Farleigh’s nurses do an incredible job - they are a little ray of sunshine in a dark time. A massive thank you for everything that they do.“

Hayley and Bex hugging after the skydive.

Thank you to Hayley and Bex for raising so much money for Farleigh Hospice.

If they have inspired you to take up an exciting fundraising challenge, we have a range of events for you to choose from! Whether you want to walk, run, cycle or even jump out of an aeroplane too, please click here to find out more.