Three brave employees from Focus Consultants have
collected more than £2,000 for charity after taking part in a tandem sky dive. 
Focus senior building surveyor Darren Booker made
the daring leap in memory of his wife Elizabeth Booker, who was 47 when she
passed away last year following her diagnosis of a rare form of Non-Hodgkin’s
Joining him were 16-year-old admin apprentice
Victoria Bell, who works alongside Darren in the Boston office of Focus, and
sustainability surveyor Gareth Morris, who is based in the company’s Leicester
Their plunge, which raised money for St Barnabas
Lincolnshire Hospice, took place at Langar Airfield near Nottingham. It was
supported by a £300 donation from Nottingham-based Focus Consultants as part of
the firm’s 21st birthday celebrations. 
“I must say a big thank you to Focus and everyone
who supported us, and especially Victoria and Gareth for joining me. I’m so
glad they both enjoyed it,” said Darren. “What an amazing day we had, and to
have raised such an amount for St Barnabas is just staggering. I’m overwhelmed
at people’s generosity.” 
Darren decided to raise money for St Barnabas Lincolnshire
Hospice as a thank-you for the care and support the charity gave to his wife
and family. 
Darren, from Bassingham, near Lincoln, said: “This was
my personal challenge in tribute to Liz, who was so very brave in facing her
illness and no matter how she felt she would always have a smile for you. 
“St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice gave us both the
support and care that was so very priceless at the most difficult of times.
They were not the only organisation to help Liz but they were there right to the
Focus Consultants, which offers a range of services, including funding and
economic development, regeneration expertise, energy consultancy and chartered
surveying services, has also chosen St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice as its charity for
2015/2016 and earlier this year handed over £230 after staging its annual golf
The skydive was the first experience of its kind
for Darren, Victoria and Gareth. 
Victoria, a former pupil of Haven High Academy in
Boston, said: “It was amazing, such an awesome experience, and to be able to
raise money for a good cause at the same time made it all worthwhile.” 
Darren said: “The lead up to the jump was
quite nerve wracking and quite emotional because of what it meant to me,
bringing back memories of Liz, but on the day I was very determined to not let
anyone down and complete the jump. 
“It was just the fear of falling from such a great
height that was hard to think rationally about and as the instructor said on
the day it’s not a normal thing to do to throw yourself out of a plane so your
mind will not accept it. 
“Then, having taken the plunge out of the plane,
the feeling of sheer exhilaration was overwhelming and you began to just enjoy
the experience which only lasted seconds but seemed like ages until the
parachute opened. It was at this point you could really relax and take in the
views which were spectacular. You can really understand why people do this as a
sport, it was totally amazing, and if you have a head for heights I can
recommend this to anyone, but doing it for St Barnabas made it all that much
more special for me.” 
Meanwhile, Gareth said: “The whole experience was
incredible. The fear didn’t really set in for me until we were at 10,000 feet
with the door of the plane open, however as soon as we jumped the fear was
replaced with sheer excitement and adrenaline, I have never experienced
anything quite like it. The feeling of free falling could be so addictive and I
see why the others at the airfield spend their weekends camping out ready to
jump at any opportunity. 
“Fantastic day for a fantastic charity – I would do
it again in a heartbeat and would encourage everyone else to give it a go.” 
Housing group Longhurst has also donated £100 to
the challenge. Liz Booker had worked at the group for 23 years and was business
development co-ordinator there before she passed away. 
During the freefall parachute jump the trio reached
speeds of more than 120mph as they dived through the air, freefalling harnessed
to a professional parachute instructor at all times throughout the descent,
with the instructor in control of the landing. 
Veronica Brien, head of fundraising & marketing
at St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice, said: “It was a great pleasure to be able
to meet the trio from Focus and a privilege to be part of their exhilarating
experience and supporting from the ground. They all landed safely with beaming
smiles upon their faces and elated that they had done it, so much so, each of
them said they’d do it again! 
“They should be so proud of what they achieved, not
only did they take a leap of faith from 10,000 feet which is no mean feat, but
they also raised a phenomenal amount of money for St Barnabas Lincolnshire
Hospice. The funds they raised will go towards providing the vital care and
support that our patients and their families need, ensuring that they can make
the most of every moment together no matter what time remains.” 
St Barnabas Lincolnshire Hospice has been providing
specialist palliative and end-of-life care for more than 30 years across
Lincolnshire. In the last 12 months St Barnabas has cared for and
supported 1,215 people within the Boston area through their day therapy,
hospice at home, out-patient and in-patient services. The charity has to raise
more than £4 million this year to be able to provide these services to its
patients and their families. 
Each of the three volunteers has their own
fundraising page and would welcome any additional donations: 
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR