Dropping in to raise funds for hospital home

Michael Bates is guided down to the ground

Michael Bates with his mother Eileen and Mark Saunders

First published in News

A skydiver raised £1,000 for charity.

Michael Bates, 47, from Portslade decided to throw himself out of an aeroplane from 13,000ft in aid of former servicemen and women.

The fundraising event commemorated the centenary of the First World War and was held in aid of the Queen Alexandra Hospital Home in Worthing, itself celebrating its 95th anniversary.

The home, a national charity, provides nursing and rehabilitation for disabled servicemen and women of all ages.

It has helped a friend of Mr Bates, Mark Saunders, 46, who suffered a stroke during Christmas in 2012.

Darren Gahan, 48, of Brighton, enabled Mr Bates to take his leap of faith.

As Mr Bates was about to get on the aircraft, a “thunderous storm” broke out and stopped his jump from taking place.

Phil Duncan, 50, who took pictures of the skydive, said: “This increased his nerves, which were already pounding.”

However, Mr Bates managed his dive an hour later, making a successful landing.

He proudly wore his Brighton and Hove Albion shirt during the dive.

Mr Duncan added: “After the jump, while celebrating, we heard Mark say this was the best day out he’s had. Amazing to hear and lovely words.”

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