Staff at Norwich’s Hamlet Centre were so keen to raise money for a training kitchen for their students that they bravely decided to throw themselves out of an aeroplane.

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There were 14 people taking part in the tandem skydive, 10 of whom were members of the centre’s staff team and four others who wanted to support charity, which helps children and adults with disabilities.

As a team they have now raised more than £5,500, which will go towards creating a new training kitchen at the charity’s Ella Road base for adults.

Leon Smith, fundraising activity organiser, said: “The Hamlet Centre is a fantastic organisation that supports children and young adults with disabilities and complex health needs.

“Since our children’s service re-located to their new centre in Johnson Place last year, our adult service at Ella Road have gained the necessary space needed in order for them to grow and develop.

“We are planning a fully functional and accessible training kitchen at the centre in order to better promote and support independent living skills for our students.

“Thanks to the money raised by our fantastic staff team and others involved over the weekend, our kitchen may make an appearance far sooner than we first thought possible.”

Back in June the team held a Night Fair, in which local businesses donated prizes to raffle off and raise extra funds for the appeal. More than £800 was raised on this evening alone.

The team all had a fantastic time doing the skydive and many of their families and Hamlet Centre service users came along on the day to offer their support. Everyone landed safely but there was one casualty, 17-year-old Charlie Harkness, from Gimingham, lost a shoe during his free-fall, much to the amusement of the rest of the team.

Pauline Morgan, chief executive of the Hamlet Centre Trust, said: “We would like to say a big thank you to everyone who took part, either jumping or sponsoring. It was a great day and I am proud to be part of this organisation. What ever anyone says it takes a great deal of courage to jump out of a plane.”

It is not too late to sponsor the team, and anyone who wishes to do so can visit the page at www.justgiving.com/theskydiveteam

To support the Hamlet Centre in another way, or to consider volunteering, contact the centre on 01603 616094 or by email at admin@hamletcentre.org.uk

The charity is also on Facebook and Twitter, and highlights from the dive can be seen on the blog atwww.hamletcentre.blog.com and website www.hamletcentre.org.uk

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Email newsdesk@archant.co.uk

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