Workmates at Jenx have really gone the extra mile – or three – for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Members of the company’s production and design teams turned into the Fearless Four, raising almost £2,200 for the North Anston-based hospice by plunging 15,000 feet to earth in a sponsored skydive.
Bluebell Wood organises what is the UK’s highest tandem jump twice a year. The Jenx Four leapt from their plane at just short of three miles up and fell back to earth at speeds of up to 120mph.
Hillsborough-based Jenx and its retail division Jiraffe voted the hospice its Charity of the Year for 2019 and have already donated thousands of pounds of their pioneering equipment, which is specially designed to help children with disabilities, to the care team.
In addition, its staff have worked at the hospice as volunteers, and donated over 95 bags of stock to sell in Bluebell Wood retail stores across Sheffield.
Jenx Design Engineer Jack Wilson, 27, a father of one from Woodseats, said: “Skydiving is just one of the many adrenaline-seeking experiences I’ve always wanted to tick off my bucket list. But what really made me ‘jump’ at the chance was the prospect of raising money for the hospice.
“I felt apprehensive as I watched the plane’s door open and people disappearing in the clouds, but the freefall was awesome. I absolutely loved it and will be booking again.”
A crippling fear of heights made the skydive much more of a challenge for Emma Green, Project Development Engineer.
“Skydiving was very far outside of my comfort zone. However, after visiting Bluebell Wood on several occasions I decided I would do pretty much anything to help support such a wonderful, caring place full of brilliant people,” said Emma, 23, of Crookes.
“My personal fears suddenly became insignificant when put into the perspective of the children and families who visit Bluebell Wood.”
For over 35 years, Jenx has been researching, designing and manufacturing pioneering developmental postural equipment that supports children who have complex postural needs.
A company spokesperson said: “We have huge admiration for our skydiving team and are very grateful to suppliers, employees, friends and family who sponsored them enabling a total of £2,160.60 to be raised, smashing their original target of £1,500.”
Bluebell Wood’s events fundraiser Beth Cole thanked the Jenx team for taking part in the charity’s annual September skydive at Hibaldstow Airfield in Lincolnshire, along with another 12 people.
“In all, 16 intrepid skydivers took their courage in their hands to support our children and families,” said Beth. “We would love to hear from brave folk who would like to join in our next skydive in April 2020. Look out for the opportunity to book a place before Christmas.”
It costs more than £4m to keep the hospice’s doors open for families across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire, North Nottinghamshire and parts of North Lincolnshire and only 10% of funding comes from government sources.
Around 300 families whose children and young adults have life-shortening and life-threatening conditions are cared for in their own homes and at the hospice.