Brave teens take the plunge for St Francis Hospice

TWO daring teenagers leapt out of a plane to raise funds for their local charity last weekend.

Louise Holland, from Romford, and Holly Meyers, from Brentwood, joined four other intrepid jumpers and skydived from 12,000ft on Sunday October 10.

The team raised more than �4,000 for St Francis Hospice, based in Havering-atte-Bower.

Louise, a pupil at St Edwards School, in London Road, decided to do the jump after spending a week’s work experience in the day hospice.

The facility caters for up to 17 patients, with access to medical staff, physiotherapists and chaplains, as well games and activities.

Louise said: “While I was in the day hospice I helped the nurses, handed out meals and spoke to the patients. I just thought they do such a good job that I really wanted to raise some money for them, and the skydive seemed the most exciting way to do it!”

Louise’s mum, Liz, is a receptionist at the hospice.

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She said: “I’ll be honest, my husband and I had a sleepless night on Saturday. I wasn’t sure how Louise would cope – if she would panic or take fright, but I’m astounded at the confidence boost it’s given her, especially knowing the money she’s raised is going to the hospice.”

Both Louise and Holly said they enjoyed the jump, which took place at Maidstone Airfield in Kent.

“I was nervous,” Holly admitted, “but I’d definitely do it again! The freefall was really fast, then as we parachuted down my instructor was pointing out sights such as the Thames Estuary, it was amazing.”

Louise added: “I didn’t have time to worry as it was just so fast. I wanted it to go on for longer!”

Fundraiser Lauren Josman said: “We are so pleased that these brave girls carried out this breathtaking challenge. �4,000 could fund 16 patients’ trips to our day hospice facility where Louise worked, so this is a fantastic achievement.

“We depend on the support of people like Louise and Holly, to ensure that St Francis Hospice can keep providing world class care to local people coping with a life limiting illness, free of charge, when they need it.”

The charity’s next skydive will take place on June 12 next year.

For more information, or to find out other ways to fundraise, call: 01708 723593 or email:

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