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“Using our experiences to help others”

7 February 2020

Our fundraising events can range from a ramble in the park, fun runs with a chocolatey twist, to gravity-defying activities that will make any adrenaline junkie swoon. For Jenny, the more daring the event the better, which is why she took on an exhilarating 160ft bungee jump back in April. We caught up with her to find out why she decided to freefall for our charity…

Hi Jenny, we heard you took on our bungee jump challenge. What made you want to freefall 160ft for hospice care?  

Mum is definitely the main reason behind this. She had been an inpatient at the Hospice in Selly Park and I can’t even begin to express my gratitude towards the doctors and nurses who cared for her there.

She was at the Hospice for two months in the run up to Christmas two-years-ago. It was a very difficult time for our family but the Hospice provided such a positive and welcoming environment for all of us. Although the staff were extremely professional, they became more like friends whilst mum was there – providing a familiar face, a big smile and invaluable advice even when we were having really bad days.

They made mum feel as comfortable as she could be and we always felt that she was in good hands. It’s hard to find peace of mind during times like this but somehow, the staff managed to make us feel calm and safe.

After mum passed away, I knew I wanted to do something as a way of saying thank you to the Hospice. As they’re a charity, I thought doing a daring fundraising challenge would be a good start – and the bungee jump day stood out! I’ve always been an adrenaline junkie and particularly love rollercoasters – especially the feeling they create when you think you’re freefalling as you’re going round a bend or loop. I thought a bungee jump would be similar with the only difference being that instead of a rollercoaster harness, I would have a bungee cord attached to my feet!

Sounds scary – how did you find the jump on the day?

It was AMAZING! I have to admit that when I first arrived, I did have my doubts. But I brought my husband, seven-year-old son, some family and friends to cheer me on and it definitely did the trick – they kept reminding me why I was doing this and the fantastic charity I would be supporting.

When you first get there, you’re lifted 160ft by a crane – which is terrifying! But honestly when you do the jump and you start freefalling, the feeling is just incredible. It was so surreal and as you’re falling through the air, you’re just praying for the moment the rope flings you back. It was a huge thrill and one I will never forget.

What did your friends and family say when you told them you were doing a bungee jump?

Honestly? Most people thought I was mad! When I told them who I was doing it for though, it often transformed into pride and respect. I must have been doing something right because I managed to raise £340 for the Hospice!

I think my family and friends were extremely proud of me, especially my son and husband. I think they particularly enjoyed it because we ended up eating a few takeaways as a special treat to calm my nerves before the jump. Most people will train for weeks if they’re taking on a fundraising challenge but not me – a good slice of pizza, a tasty Chinese takeout, and a large helping of chips did the trick!

In all honesty though, I couldn’t have done it without the support of Maria, who is part of the fundraising team at the Hospice. She made everything so simple and I can’t thank her enough for her kind wishes and offers of support during my fundraising journey.

Since doing the jump, have you learned anything new about the Hospice?

Before mum came to Birmingham St Mary’s, I had no idea that hospice’s were charities. That’s why I was so determined to fundraise for the Hospice – I wanted to give back so that more people could receive expert care like my mum did.

I think fundraising is also a great way of helping to spread the word of what hospices do. Doing something daring like a bungee jump definitely grabs people’s attention and helps educates them on the vital care and support a hospice can provide.

I also think it’s really important to share your story. Our family have been through so much hurt and loss but now we can use our experiences to help other families receive the support they need, as soon as they need it.

Because Birmingham St Mary’s provide such a wonderful service, it’s made me want to get involved with other fundraising and volunteering activities. They can be a lot of fun and at the end of the day, you’re supporting a fantastic cause – so what have you got to lose?

Thank you Jenny for sharing your story with us. We’re currently on the lookout for the next daredevil to take part in one of our thrilling ‘Fearsome Four’ challenges. If you’re an adrenaline junkie and fancy taking on a bungee jump, skydive, loop the loop, or wing walking experience, then take a look here.