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King’s Lynn Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants fundraising efforts to reach new height in skydiving challenge for Norfolk Hospice Tapping House





A team of employees are taking a leap of faith on Sunday for charity.

Accountants from Stephenson Smart Chartered Accountants in Lynn and Fakenham are skydiving to raise money for the Norfolk Hospice Tapping House.

Kayleigh Wilson, Carla Andrews, Keelan Rix and Neil Gayton have signed up for a tandem skydive at Ellough Airfield, near Beccles, to raise vital funds for the hospice that supports and cares for families and patients with life-limiting illnesses.

From left: Melanie Harriss, marketing and communications manager, Kayleigh Wilson, Keelan Rix, Lindsey Atkin, community and corporate fundraising manager at Tapping House, Carla Andrews, Cassy Sturman, Neil Gayton. Photo: Stephenson Smart.
From left: Melanie Harriss, marketing and communications manager, Kayleigh Wilson, Keelan Rix, Lindsey Atkin, community and corporate fundraising manager at Tapping House, Carla Andrews, Cassy Sturman, Neil Gayton. Photo: Stephenson Smart.

It’s particularly poignant for tax manager Kayleigh Wilson, who is celebrating nearly 10 years of being cancer free after being diagnosed with stage four Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 18 and needing a bone marrow transplant.

She will jump on her 30th birthday so it is a double celebration.

It’s Keelan’s first time jumping from a plane, while it’s the second time round for Neil, and the third for Carla.

Kayleigh had two years of treatment, which included a bone marrow transplant in March 2013, before she went into remission that July.

She said: “I try to take the positives from things, and I am confident I would not have lived my life the same, full, way if this had not happened to me, it definitely gave me a passion to live my life to the fullest.

“I did my first skydive last August. I love a good adrenaline rush and the freefall part of the jump is by far the best feeling. It’s hard to put into words, but I will happily go through the nerve-racking lead up to experience it again.

“It is nice to do something out of the office with my colleagues and you can’t get more outside the office than this.”

Neil, who previously skydived over a glacier in New Zealand, said: “ It is harder to pull out with others there so hopefully we can all encourage each other. A lot of people will benefit as the charity does great work for the local community.”

Carla, accounts senior at the Fakenham office is a skydiving stalwart, making this one her third.

“My advice is to enjoy the ride. It is an amazing feeling of freedom. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to jump again and for such a great cause. It feels great to do it as a team for a common purpose.”

For accounts assistant Keelan, who works in the Fakenham office, it is his first experience.

Keelan said: “I am doing it to push me out of my comfort zone.

“I like an adrenaline rush. I am trying not to think about it beforehand, but I think I’ll be having a cold beer when I get home.”

Keelan is being joined on the day by his mum Heidi, who will jump for the first time, and accounts assistant Cassy Sturman will be cheering on her husband Jordan.

He will skydive in memory of his mum who died from cancer in January 2022.

Cassy said: “Jordan is doing it for her.

“I like to fund raise for Tapping House and ran the London marathon for them back in 2017.”

Nicola Ellis, chief executive, Norfolk Hospice Tapping House, based at Hillington near Lynn, said: “Every penny counts, so we are so really touched that the team are going to be doing such a brave thing to fundraise for us.”

Visit www.justgiving.com/team/stephenson-smart-norfolk-hospice

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