NHS workers jumping from a plane to raise money for their hospital charity

Joe Fews and Nigel Bush Skydive

A radiographer, an accountant, a nurse and a trainee nurse are doing a skydive to raise money for Southmead Hospital Charity.

And alongside them jumping out of the plane at 10,000 feet will be two mums whose babies were treated in NICU.

The group will be whistling through the air at 120 miles per hour, and will free fall for about 70 seconds before their parachute opens.

Pooja Poddar, a nurse, Joe Fews, a trainee accountant, and Ben Doidge, a trainee nurse, are taking part in the skydive on July 15.

Nigel Bush, a superintendent radiographer who specialises in nuclear medicine, has worked at North Bristol NHS Trust for 30 years, and is also doing the skydive to raise money for the charity’s Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

He said: “I’m terrified of heights and the thought of doing a skydive literally makes me feel sick. I don’t know how I’m going to get in the plane! 

“But I thought that if I push myself beyond my comfort zone then people will sponsor me. 

“The Prostate Cancer Care Appeal is something I want to wholeheartedly support and raise plenty of money so this is going to be a huge challenge for me.”

Joining them in this sky-high challenge are Stacey Purnell and Amanda Oakey who are both raising money for Southmead Hospital Charity’s NICU fund.

Stacey’s son Finley had emergency treatment at the NICU when he was born in November 2015.   

She has already reached her £1,000 sponsorship target but wants to raise even more!

She said: “The NICU staff are phenomenal, what they do and the effort they put in takes your breath away.  When you’re not there with your baby they’re the parents you can’t be, and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

“Finley’s stay in NICU was relatively short but it has affected us.  I’ll never forget it, and want to give something back so I’m really excited about the jump!”

Amanda’s daughter Isabelle was born 16 weeks early at 24 weeks and weighted just 1 pound 2 ounces and spent four months in NICU.

She said: “The job these people do is just amazing, they didn’t just help Isabelle get better but helped us all as a family to get through this tough time - they became our family and I will be forever grateful.”

The Prostate Cancer Care Appeal aims to raise £2million to purchase two new robots for the hospital to meet growing demand, fund new diagnostic and treatment options and to support the training of the next generation of robotic surgeons - improving outcomes for men with prostate cancer. 

More information about each skydiver:


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