FOR some, jumping out of a perfectly good plane is pure madness. Others see in it the experience of a lifetime, plunging towards the ground at 125mph before the moment when the parachute launches. 

Then there are the inspirational staff from the Woking & Sam Beare Hospice, who went beyond the call of duty on Friday, October 6, taking on a skydive to raise almost £20,000 for the hospice whilst increasing awareness of Hospice Care Week.

The jump, under clear blue skies at Old Sarum Airfield, near Salisbury, was a tandem skydive, with an instructor harnessed to each team member. The team had only a short training session to prepare.

Hospice Care Week, which runs until Sunday (October 15), is a chance to celebrate the incredible people who work in palliative and end-of-life care. 

Woking & Sam Beare Hospice know only too well what a difference their staff make to the lives of those in their care. 

“Every day at work, I get to support people with the amazing challenges that they do,” said marketing executive Sam Wakefield.

“Their selfless motivation to raise money for the hospice inspired me to take on my own challenge.

“And being scared of heights, jumping out of a plane really was the ultimate challenge for me.

“It’s an experience I will never forget though as it was truly magical. I cried happy tears as I touched the clouds and looked at the world below – it was so peaceful up there.”

Sam was joined by Georgia Miles, Felicity Edwards, Sam Jones, Jenny Greenhalgh and Tammy Stracey, colleagues from across the hospice who share her passion for wanting to raise funds and increase awareness.

They were joined by a number of fundraisers who wanted to support the hospice, notably Valerie Hitchcock, who wished to mark her upcoming 80th birthday by joining them on the skydive.

Val experienced the support of the hospice first hand when they cared for three members of her family, daughter Sally-Ann, first husband and Sally-Ann’s dad John Hitchcock and second husband David Rosson.

“I did this in memory of my daughter, her dad and my second husband,” said Val. “The hospice looked after them and have been my salvation.” 

To support the hospice skydivers by donating, visit