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Tuesday, 11 August 2020


70-year-old will be Winging it this month for local hospice care

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A 70-year-old man from Rayleigh has lost stones to raise pounds for Havens Hospices so he could take to the skies in a charity Wing Walk.

Mike Cairns signed up to take on Havens Hospices’ Wing Walk earlier this year to mark turning 70 after receiving a leaflet about some of the charity’s upcoming fundraising events. However, because of the challenge’s weight restrictions, Mike has lost almost an incredible 3.5 stone so he could take part.

He said:

“Since January I have lost almost 50lbs – achieved by forgoing beer and chips – and walking nearly 1000 miles. I have worn out my walking boots and all my clothes are too big but I am pleased to now be under the required weight.

“This was exactly what I had been looking for to celebrate my milestone birthday – something challenging but also a worthwhile cause for my family to donate my birthday money too.”

The Wing Walk challenge organised by Havens Hospices was originally meant to be taking place in June but had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The event has now been given the go-ahead on 18th July as ‘COVID safe’ with extra safety measures in place to ensure a safe experience, which includes standing on the wing of Stearman biplane whilst travelling up to speeds of 100 MPH, 900 ft in the air.

Mike, who has so far raised over £1,000 in sponsorship for Little Havens, said:

“It was a bit of a blow when the June date was put back to July, but it is for such an important cause. I support Havens Hospices each month by taking part in their lottery and by donating and visiting their local charity shop.

“My friends and family think I have lost my mind – I am feeling slightly apprehensive but really looking forward to it.”

There are still a limited number of spaces left to take on Havens Hospices Wing Walk challenge at Damyns Hall Aerodrome near Upminster on Saturday 18th July 2020.

This challenge is perfect for those who are looking for an alternative exciting outdoor challenge whilst stuck at home during the pandemic.

By taking part in the challenge participants will be helping to raise money for Havens Hospices so they can continue ‘Making every day count’ for the children and adults with complex or incurable conditions and their families, across Essex.

Wing Walk

Emma Hamilton, Challenge Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said:

“We are thrilled to be going ahead with our extremely popular Wing Walk challenge- the challenge is a must for thrill-seekers who are looking for a safe challenge that is not confined to their homes during these current times.

“Havens Hospices’ income has taken a major hit this year with most of our public fundraising events cancelled or postponed so we are thrilled that we are able to go ahead safely with the Wing Walk challenge this summer so we can continue to raise vital funds for the hospice.”

Please note that to take part in the Wing Walk, participants must be no heavier than 12 stone 2 pounds (77kg) and between 18-70 years of age. Those between the ages of 65-70 would need to provide a GP’s declaration of good health. Wing walkers must be able to climb onto the aircraft unaided in line with the company Skymax’s new hygiene measures and social distancing rules.

Any Wing Walkers who would like to participate are asked for a £100 registration fee and a minimum fundraising pledge of £600, to help the charity be there for everyone who needs them for as long as they’re needed. Please note the participant’s total fundraising amount is not expected to be passed on to the charity until two months after the event date which gives participants plenty of time to raise funds.

For more information or book your place please visit www.havenshospices.org.uk/wingwalk
or email Challenges Fundraiser Emma Hamilton, ehamilton@havenshospices.org.uk or call 01702 220 308.

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