Mark Eastwood MP is set to take part in a skydive to raise funds for Kirkwood Hospice on the 19th September.
The event will see him take off from Hibaldstow Airfield and jump out at 15,000ft, the equivalent height of 15 Emley Moor Masts. It will involve ‘freefalling’ at a speed of up to 120MPH before releasing a parachute and safely arriving at the landing spot.
The Dewsbury MP has agreed to take part in the nerve-racking jump, responding to Kirkwood Hospice’s call for volunteers to take the plunge and raise funds for the hospice.
The Kirkwood supports those affected by life-limiting illnesses and their families, providing quality care as they approach the end of the life. Throughout the pandemic the hospice has continued to provide support to the wider community through their family care teams, home visits, care home support and advice line.
The Coronavirus pandemic has seen charities across the country struggle to raise funds, with fundraising events largely restricted. The Kirkwood normally derives 80% of its income from fundraising and donations from the local community, including through its annual Midnight Memory Walk which is its biggest fundraising event of the year.
In April last year, the Government announced £750m to help pandemic-hit charities, including an extra £200m for hospices, of which the Kirkwood has been a recipient. The hospice has welcomed Mr Eastwood’s efforts to raise additional funds for the Kirkwood.
Michael Crowther, Chief Executive, The Kirkwood:
“Mark is doing something really great for our important local charity. He is determined to draw attention to the many things The Kirkwood does for people in his constituency. When he found out about the vital services we provide for everyone in every community he wanted to raise awareness so that everyone who needs us can reach out and access our care. I think he's had his arm twisted to do the skydive!
But I really think it will be a great way of helping people to understand that The Kirkwood is here for them and their families when they need us.”
Joanna Doherty, North Kirklees Community Fundraiser, The Kirkwood:
“We are delighted that Mark has taken on the challenge of signing up to do our skydive as this will not only raise much needed funds to support the care The Kirkwood provides but will also raise awareness of the wonderful work we do. This includes being the only charity in Kirklees that provides specialist end of life care to people in their own homes which is something that we are incredibly proud of. “
Mark Eastwood MP:
“Despite the support given to hospices and charities during the pandemic, it has been a difficult time for them. I am pleased that I have this opportunity to do my bit to help out an organisation that does great work not just in their centre in Dalton but also the Rosewood Centre at Dewsbury Hospital and out in the wider community through their excellent community nurses.
I’m really pleased to be doing this event, even if I’m a little bit nervous, sometimes politicians need to be brought back down to earth and I hope this will prompt everyone will donate what they can to support the Kirkwood.”
Mr Eastwood’s JustGiving Page can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Mark-Eastwood-MP
The Kirkwood is looking for other volunteers to take part, with sign-ups still open on their website https://www.thekirkwood.org.uk/how-you-can-help/events/skydive-2