Daredevils are walking in the air

Gauntlet thrown down on St Giles wing-walking challenge

Sutton Coldfield daredevils with a head for heights can now take on the ultimate aerial challenge by wing walking on a plane in aid of St Giles Hospice when the lockdown is finally over.

St Giles is joining forces with events company Life Changing Challenges to offer thrill seekers a brand new fundraising experience they’ll never forget in the skies above Gloucestershire.

Everyone who takes part will enjoy a wing walk at a private airfield in Cirencester, with full training and a safety briefing, flying overalls provided and support from the hospice fundraising team.

Elinor Eustace, Income Generation Director at St Giles Hospice said: “Our fundraisers have told us that they love these adrenaline-fuelled experiences and we’re absolutely thrilled to be able to offer people the chance to enjoy one of these amazing flights.

“We’re looking for over-18s who want to test their nerve by trying a different kind of charity challenge – taking their bravery to new heights as they raise the funds we need to support patients living with a terminal illness and their families.”

One St Giles supporter who would love to do a wing-walking flight is 58-year-old Peter Norman who jumped out of a plane for the hospice in 2018, raising more than £500 through his fundraising parachute jump.

HGV driver Peter, who lives in Rugeley, enjoyed the experience so much he did another skydive in 2019 and was due to jump again last year until his flight was cancelled during the COVID-19 lockdown.

He said: “I really enjoyed skydiving for St Giles – it was a big adrenaline rush, far better than any rollercoaster ride you can go on and the views are simply phenomenal. It’s just a massive buzz.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to go wing walking – I’d do it tomorrow. Maybe I’m nuts but I think it would be a great experience! It’s so satisfying to challenge yourself with such a unique event – especially when you’re doing it in aid of a great cause. That’s the icing on the cake, because you know that you’re pushing yourself and helping so many people at the same time.”

Peter signed up for his first jump in memory of his dad Watty (corr) Norman, who died at home with lung cancer in 2003 supported by St Giles Hospice at Home nurses. 

He added: “St Giles staff were amazing – the nurses came and stayed with us at the house and it allowed Dad to be at home with his family right to the end, which made such a difference to him and we’re all really grateful that he got that opportunity.

“I visit the hospice each year on the anniversary of Dad’s death to read his name in the memorial book. I always leave a donation and we play the hospice lottery throughout the year.  My nephew’s wife Jemma Norman passed away at St Giles in 2017 and they looked after her so well – and you hear lots of stories like that in the area. 

“So many people have friends or family who have been supported by St Giles, so it’s really important that we support them in return.”

Anyone interested in taking part in a wing-walking challenge can sign up for a flight on weekdays between March and October and selected Saturdays between April and September. The event is fully COVID-secure.

There is a registration fee of £50 and fundraisers must pledge to raise a minimum sponsorship of £800. All St Giles wing walkers will get a fundraising pack, an orange hospice T-shirt and full support from a dedicated member of the St Giles fundraising team.

To learn more about the wing walking challenge or sign up for the event email Fundraising@Stgileshospice.com  or visit www.stgileshospice.com/how-you-can-help-us/fundraise-with-us/our-events/wing-walk/

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