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Saturday, 18 September 2021
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Skydiving nurses set to take leap of faith

PAEDIATRIC nurses Claire Mullen, Hannah Burtenshaw, Michela Gandolfo, Natalie Brooks, Nicola Jones, Helen Quinn and Emma Sharp, will all be taking to the skies on September 25 to raise money for the Sussex children’s charity.

Claire, Helen and Emma have previously taken part in one of the charity’s famous iDrops, abseiling from the British Airways i360 on Brighton seafront, so they are no strangers to a bit of adrenaline, but this challenge is a step above.

Claire, who lives in Storrington, explained: 

“We’re all looking forward to doing the skydive. We have some mixed emotions: excitement, nervousness, scared, but we know that we work well as a team and can get through anything together.”

The group decided to raise funds for Rockinghorse after seeing first-hand the support they provide at the Royal Alex. Claire said: 

“Last year Rockinghorse provided the hospital with equipment including specialist ventilators, bedside stethoscopes, parent camp beds and a portable lung function machine.

“Their fundraising was hit quite hard due to COVID so we are trying to raise as much money as possible so that their support continues.”

Along with the fundraising for the skydive, these amazing nurses have also organised a charity raffle with prizes including a cake from Flour Pot Bakery in Brighton, a voucher from Jo and Co in Hove, a Tesco hamper, a pamper evening from Temple Spa, an afternoon tea for two at The Grand, and a cheese and wine tour at the Bolney Wine Estate.

Despite the nerves, Claire is really looking forward to the jump, she said: 

“I can’t wait! I love adrenaline so it’s right up my street but we’re all really up for it. I put the idea onto our group chat, asking if anyone was up for it and they all jumped at the chance!”

The tandem jumps will be taking place on 25 September at GoSkydive in Salisbury. The nurses will train together on the ground before flying up to around 10,000ft where they will be attached to a more experienced skydiver before jumping out and floating back to solid ground.

Lucy Pond, Challenge Fundraising Manager at Rockinghorse, is impressed with the bravery the nurses are showing, she said:

“This great group of nurses already provide such wonderful support to poorly babies and children at the Royal Alex but to go above and beyond to raise money for us in their spare time is amazing. Not to mention the fact that doing a skydive takes real guts!

“We are truly in awe of their achievements and can’t wait to see how they get on with their fundraising and of course the jump itself.”

So far, the group has raised nearly £1,500 but their goal is to get to £2,800. If you would like to support this amazing bunch of NHS heroes, you can sponsor them directly on their JustGiving page.

And if you would like your donation to be included in the raffle, just comment ‘raffle’ with your donation and include your full name and contact info so you can be contacted if you’re the lucky winner of one of the prizes.

Raffle numbers are £1 each so the more you donate the more chance you have of winning one of these amazing prizes!

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