Skydivers hoping hospital charity funds will soar

A brave group of NHS staff and supporters are set to take to the skies over Bridlington this weekend for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity.

The 11 people will jump out of a plane to raise money for a range of appeals and projects across Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (BTHFT).

Laura Jones, lead cancer manager at BTHFT, is jumping to raise money for the benefit of cancer services. Staff and patients are currently fundraising to refurbish the Oncology and Haematology Day Case Unit’s waiting room. Charity funds were recently used to purchase two chemotherapy chairs, which are used by patients while undergoing chemotherapy treatment, so they hope to continue with the same success.

“I’ve worked for 10 years in cancer services for the Trust and I’ve constantly strived to improve patient care and experience,” said Laura. “I know it’s often the additional ‘extras’ that the charity funds which can make all the difference.

“I recently lost one of my closest friends to cancer and I know through that time it was the compassion, care and comfort that my friend and his family received that supported them through the journey. It is charity funds which enable our cancer teams to provide this.”

You can donate to Laura at

Sarah Hayton, of Skipton, is raising money for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity’s Big Neonatal Appeal. Sarah’s son, Jack, was born very poorly and received treatment and care in Bradford’s Neonatal Unit last year before he sadly passed away. Sarah and her husband Mark were so grateful for the kindness and compassion they received that they have pledged to raise money to help fund additional family accommodation to enable parents to stay close to their babies, like the facilities they benefited from.

Sarah said: “It was hard to believe that our beautiful baby boy, who seemed perfect to us, was going to be leaving us. All the staff at the BRI Neonatal Unit – doctors, nurses, receptionists, cleaners, ministers – continued to do their jobs with unwaning kindness and compassion. We could not have wished for better care, especially in such terrible circumstances.

“If anyone is unlucky enough that their baby has to go into a neonatal unit, they could not receive better care than at BRI. We will forever be grateful for the kindness and attention they showed Jack and our family.”

Sarah will be taking part in the skydive with colleagues from David Hill chartered surveyors, where she works, and her husband’s colleagues from Bowman Riley.

You can support Sarah and her efforts to raise money for the Big Neonatal Appeal at

Safina Aziz will jump out of a plane for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity because her daughter, Inaaya, receives regular care at Bradford Royal Infirmary for chronic inflammatory bowel disease, which is caused by a rare genetic disorder. As a result, she needs regular blood transfusions on the children’s day case unit.

Safina, who also represented the charity at the Bradford Dragon Boat Festival, said: “I have seen first-hand the work the charity does. The smile on the children’s faces when given gifts at Christmas and Eid makes a huge difference for them. The facilities in the play room and the equipment provided by the charity make the experience of being in hospital more bearable.”

You can support Safina at

Radiographers Atique Hussain, Declan O’Hagan and Lucy Sagar are representing the radiology department in the skydive, which is currently raising money for its ‘Rays a Smile’ appeal.

Lucy said: “We work in the basement of the hospital, so all our staff are really excited to make our department a much brighter, less scary space for children! I’m petrified but want to do this and help raise more money for our amazing radiology departments.”

Lucy’s Just Giving page is

Atique added that he was keen to raise money to enhance the hospital experience and make everything that bit more bearable for patients.

You can support Atique at

Newly qualified nurse Jessica Smith is celebrating the end of her nursing training with the skydive! She will be joined by her friend, Lydia Horsman.

She said: “The skydive is a great opportunity to raise money for the Trust and also a good way to celebrate finishing my training. I’ll be returning as a qualified nurse in September to work on Ward 15.

“This isn’t my first skydive, but I’m very much looking forward to doing this at Bridlington as the views will be amazing. I took part in the charity abseil last year and fancied something a lot higher for this year’s fundraising event!”

Jessica’s Just Giving page is

Lydia added: “I was inspired to help support this cause by Jessica. She is the perfect example of the dedication and compassion shown by those who work at Bradford Teaching Hospitals, striving to provide exceptional healthcare to all in need.

“Myself and my family have first-hand experience of the good work which takes place in these hospitals. We hope to raise as much money as possible to help this work continue and to support Bradford Teaching Hospitals and the patients they care for.”

Lydia’s Just Giving page is

The daredevils will take part in tandem skydives with experienced instructors. The experience is being led by Skydive GB, which is based in Grindale, Bridlington. When visibility is good, skydivers can see the spectacular Yorkshire coastline, from Whitby down to the Humber Bridge.

Hayley Collis, head of fundraising for Bradford Hospitals’ Charity, said: “This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and so we’re delighted that this enthusiastic team of fundraisers chose to support our charity. We’re sure they’ll have an amazing day, with memories to last a lifetime.”

To find out more about Bradford Hospitals’ Charity and how you can support your local hospitals, visit Alternatively, contact Hayley Collis or Elaine Drake on 01274 274809 or email [email protected]