Grantham woman Kathleen to skydive in memory of her father

Kathleen Shields and her late father, Malcolm Hensby
Kathleen Shields and her late father, Malcolm Hensby
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A Grantham woman is set to take part in a skydive in memory of her father, and hopes to raise £1,500 for St Barnabas Hospice.

Kathleen Shields, 33, and her friend Tracie Morton, 33, will be taking the leap of faith in memory of Kathleen’s dad, who spent his final few weeks being cared for by St Barnabas.

Her father, Malcolm Hensby – who ran snooker and pool hall Hunters Bar in Grantham for 12 years – was diagnosed in February 2015 with lung cancer, and after a courageous battle against the disease, sadly died in April 2016, aged 63.

Kathleen said: “Even in the most heart-breaking of circumstances, the staff at the St Barnabas Hospice Inpatient Unit in Lincoln managed to make Dad smile. They listened to him, and made sure he was comfortable and cared for.

“The staff were compassionate, honest, and highly skilled. Mum described them as ‘angels’. The accommodation at the hospice allowed Mum to stay with Dad during his final days rather than having to travel back and forth from Grantham which took the added stress of travel and separation away. We want to do what we can to help enable the trust to continue to provide this service for families in their time of need.”

The skydive takes place at Hibaldstow Airfield on Sunday, September 10, with participants jumping in tandem alongside a professional parachute instructor. The jump and training is completed in a day, and the instructor will be there to ensure safe landing.

Kathleen said: “I think Dad would be very happy that we are being proactive and trying to give something back to the hospice. He would have been very touched that friends, family and members of the local community have been so giving with their money, time and efforts.

“He would think that we have taken leave of our senses, throwing ourselves out of a plane, but would hopefully understand why.

“£7,556 has already been raised in Dad’s memory for St Barnabas, from a sponsored walk and 24-hour pool marathon, and we just want to keep going!”

Registration for the skydive is completely free, but all participants are asked to raise a minimum of £395 in sponsorship (including a £70 booking deposit). Skydivers must be at least 16 years old to take part, and under 15 stone in weight. Register online at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/SDSept17

For more information contact community fund-raiser Harriet Hickin on 01522 540300 or email harriet.hickin@stbarnabashospice.co.uk