Gressingham Foods employee raises over £4,500 in exhilarating 13,000 ft parachute jump

A Gressingham Foods employee has raised more than £4,500 for her colleague by completing a 13,000 ft sky dive.


Michelle Bates, a health and safety manager at Redgrave based Gressingham Foods was inspired to undertake the sky dive after her colleague and friend, Sheila Rice, was diagnosed with cancer.


Michelle completed the parachute jump at Beccles Airfield, raising £4,550 in total following donations from staff at Gressingham Foods and the business itself. The money raised was gifted to Sheila, a poultry welfare officer at family-run Gressingham, and will be used to support transport costs to and from the hospital as well as the purchase of items needed for an upcoming stem cell transplant.


Michelle Bates, health and safety factory manager at Gressingham Foods said: “I’m so glad I did the jump. It was definitely an experience but I must admit I’m not sure it’s one I’d be rushing back to do again.


“The most important thing is that we’ve been able to raise a fantastic amount of money to help support Sheila and many others who are diagnosed with cancer.


“The team at Gressingham were very supportive, both with their encouragement and their generous donations. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to raise this amount of money so I’m really grateful for their support.”


Sheila was initially undergoing tests in July, however, in August last year, she received her diagnosis of Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, a type of cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. One of the main symptoms of the cancer is swollen glands that do not go away.


Sheila finished work in August last year and started chemotherapy in September, inspiring Michelle and the team at Gressingham to raise the funds.


Shelia said: “I initially couldn’t understand why Michelle was willing to do the jump and the entire team was being so supportive, however I put this down to the kindness and generosity of everyone at Gressingham Foods.


“Jacqui and Michelle contacted me after the jump to let me know how much had been raised. The amount was unbelievable and completely bonkers!


“The generosity of the people at Gressingham Foods has left me both amazed and humbled.”


Sheila is currently waiting her next round of treatment, which will involve a steam cell transplant in the hopes of preventing or at the very least delaying the cancer returning.


You can find out more about the business and its values here.