Three dedicated Nursing Support Assistants are set to take the plunge with a tandem sky-dive to raise money for Isabel Hospice.
Leigh Stoten, 47, and Kelly Little, 29, both from Welwyn Garden City and Kirsty Hedges, 29, from Hatfield will all take part in the charity event on Sunday 15th March at Chatteris Airfield in Cambridgeshire. They will be joined by colleagues Geri Garman, a housekeeper at Isabel Hospice and Penny Turner, a volunteer.
Although none of the group has ever done a skydive before, they are excited about the prospect of the 13,000 foot jump and are delighted to be raising money for a cause so close to their hearts. Leigh said “I just love working at Isabel Hospice. We work with people at the end stage of their life but we do all we can to make it as comfortable as possible. We make it a positive environment for the families we care for, and part of that, is finding out what will make them happy once they are admitted.”
The Isabel Hospice In-Patient Unit where Kelly, Leigh and Kirsty work is in Howlands, Welwyn Garden City. The Unit cared for 174 people last year and Is a safe haven for some people in the last days of life, and for others, it is a place where they can go for a few days or weeks, to get distressing symptoms brought under control before being discharged back home.
The Unit is one part of the extensive range of care services offered by the charity, including Living Well with Isabel Hubs in Welwyn Garden City where day sessions are provided to help people living with a life-limiting diagnosis live well, and a team of Clinical Nurse Specialists who visit patients in their own home across eastern Hertfordshire.
Kelly is passionate about her work, and explained that Isabel Hospice does not charge for the care it provides but their costs are around £17,000 per day so they rely heavily on donations. This means every penny that people donate truly counts. Kirsty agrees and added “knowing our care is available to families in need provides huge comfort.”
As a Nursing Support Assistant Leigh knows the lengths she and her colleagues go to make people's final days as positive as possible and that it doesn't stop with nursing care. She said “We will do everything we can to make sure our patients live their final days to the full. We've put on birthday parties, some people want to have their pet with them, and for some it's as simple as having a soak in the bath with a glass of prosecco. It can be a big thing or a little thing but we'll do everything we can – we've even had weddings at Isabel Hospice.”
When asked what advice she would give to anyone thinking about joining in, Leigh said “Just do it! You only get one life and anything can happen - I'm very aware of that through my work. I've always wanted to do a skydive so if you've thought about it before just go for it and the fact you can raise money for such a good cause is a bonus.”
There are 18 skydivers signed up to jump but there are still places available if you would like to take part and help raise money for the local charity.
Sign yourself up
If you would like to make a donation to the Isabel Hospice skydivers, details of their JustGiving pages are below: