Over the last few weekends, supporters of Garden House Hospice Care have battled gale force winds and fear to take part in skydives and a community cycle to raise funds.

The sky was the limit for 21 brave jumpers who each leapt 10,000ft as part of the skydive challenge organised by the Letchworth-based hospice across two weekends.

Stevenage-based chartered accountancy firm Wagstaffs and others - including Barclays Banking and Pregis Ltd - successfully raised more than £6,500 in sponsorship, thanks to the brave employees who took part in the challenge.

Mark Hubbocks, partner at Wagstaffs, said: "It is not often that you get to do something exhilarating that will fuel adrenaline and leave you with a memory that lasts a lifetime.

"In doing a skydive, you get all of this plus a spectacular view from 10,000 feet above the ground.

"When you combine that with doing the skydive with team mates and family, it becomes a very special shared experience.

"Add the fact that a closely bonded group have raised over £6,000 for charity and that money really makes a difference, that makes the whole thing very special indeed.

"I would encourage as many local businesses to consider doing something similar as we all have a part to play in supporting the community that supports our respective businesses."

Millie Atkinson skydived in memory of her mum, who was a patient at the hospice last year.

She said: "Losing my mum made me realise I can do anything I set my mind to. I can't give back what the hospice gave to my mum - the care and support she received, from brushing her hair to making sure she spent her last few days was pain-free with family and friends around her making sure her last memories were special."

Another big fundraising effort this month was the annual cycle ride organised each year by Kerry Duggan.

This year was the 15th of its kind and raised an additional £6,000 for the hospice.

Kerry said: "I cannot thank everyone enough for coming along, despite the high winds and rain. Everyone carried on and kept spirits high, making the day fun and enjoyable and helped to raise vital funds.

"Special thanks to the new owners of the George and Dragon pub in Graveley for hosting the event and to all our sponsors and those who volunteered their help and marshalled on the day."