Courageous colleagues take the plunge

Courageous colleagues from the Wilton Centre are sky-diving from 10,000 ft to raise money for a cause close to their hearts as it celebrates a major milestone.   

Claire Morton and Natalie Taylor, who are part of the Centre’s management team, were inspired to take the plunge after spending three days at nearby Zoe’s Place just before Christmas.

“We all came away absolutely in awe of the work they do and we were so touched and moved, that we decided we need to do more,” said Claire.

The first Zoe’s Place opened in Liverpool in 1995.  Middlesbrough followed in 2004 and the third hospice opened in Coventry in 2011.  Zoe is the Greek word for the expression “Gift of Life.”

The Wilton Centre and many of its occupiers have supported the charity for a number of years.  Later this month it is holding a fund-raising barbeque and each month, to mark the charity’s 20th birthday, there is a cash draw.

“We can do little bits and go back every year – which we’re doing again this Christmas – but we wanted to do something that can make a difference and raise a significant amount of money,” said Claire.

Zoe’s Place provides short breaks for babies and infants who are either very poorly or undergoing treatments which need intensive nursing.  They also provide children with end of life care.

“Our friends at the Wilton Centre have been backing Zoe’s Place for over a decade, raising over a whopping £14,000,” said Ashleigh Wood, the Corporate Fundraiser at Middlesbrough’s Zoe’s Place. “This generosity has provided a lifeline for families when they needed it most.”

She added: “Now, two of their fearless ladies, Natalie and Claire, have chosen to throw themselves out of a plane on our behalf and we couldn’t be more grateful. This high-flying support enables our care teams to continue their vital work, helping families cherish life’s small yet precious moments.”

“We might go bigger and bolder after this”

Claire has sky-dived before, 13 years ago over Cairns in Australia, and thought she had “ticked that box” before deciding to do it again to raise money for Zoe’s Place.

But it will be Natalie’s first time.  “I’m only just over five feet tall so heights are very foreign to me.  I’ll be terrified, but it’s for a great cause and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

“We want to continue supporting Zoe’s Place so we might go even bigger and bolder after this.”

Claire and Natalie will be doing their sky-dive on 3 July and have set up a Just Giving page where people can support Zoe’s Place.