LAST month, 57-year-old thrill seeker, Julie Fisher from Market Rasen, took on the once-in-a-lifetime experience Wing Walk, where she was strapped into a seat on top of an aeroplane as it soared through the sky to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice.
Every year, St Barnabas offers exhilarating challenges for supporters to get their teeth into and raise money for the hospice care charity. With the HeART Trail currently on display around Lincolnshire, many are taking on sponsored walks, runs and cycle rides to visit all 30 HeART sculptures. St Barnabas has even created a club on Strava so supporters can log routes and share updates.
Other challenges the charity offers its supporters include walking over fire, running marathons, skydiving, and other great adventures.
Julie Fisher from Wragby has taken on many fundraisers in support of St Barnabas. She has been a fundraiser for the charity since 2010, when her husband, Chris, was told his cancer had returned after being diagnosed in 2001 with malignant melanoma. St Barnabas supported him with his care at home so Chris could still be with his family in his last months.
“Our sons were teenagers at the time, so it was a very difficult time for all of us. The St Barnabas nurses were incredibly supportive and kind, providing care day and night so we could get some sleep.
“One night, the nurse woke us up to say Chris had taken a turn for the worst, and he didn’t have long. We were able to stay by his side and say our goodbyes, which meant so much to us. Ever since that day, my sons Jacob and Reuben and I have supported St Barnabas to thank them.”
Julie and her sons have taken on some massive challenges, from trekking the highest mountain in North Africa to skydiving for Julie’s 50th birthday and now the wing walk.
“When I did the wing walk, I was very excited but so worried and nervous I thought I’d be sick while I was on the wing, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. Once we took off and were in the sky, it was incredible, and I loved every minute of it. Definitely one of the best experiences of my life.
“Lots of family and friends came to watch, which gave me a huge boost, and they are brilliant at supporting me with all the fundraising I do for the challenges from attending afternoon teas, race nights and fashion shows as well as sponsorships. I really couldn’t do it without their support, and I think it helps them to know they are also supporting the charity that helped Chris.
“Taking part in these challenges and volunteering in other ways for St Barnabas makes me feel I’m giving back something to this amazing charity that made a huge difference to me and my family when we needed it most. I have also just become a Fundraising Ambassador as well as a Fundraising Events Volunteer and a HeART Trail Ambassador.”
Every day, St Barnabas supports families like Julie’s across Lincolnshire, with over 12,000 people accessing its services annually. The charity needs to raise £ 6.5 million each year to continue providing outstanding free care to those living with a life-limiting or terminal illness.
The charity has seen some amazing fundraising challenges thought up by supporters, including a 9-year-old girl who skipped 100 times for St Barnabas each day for a month. Other great ideas are long-distance swimming, dance marathons, rollerblade races, treadmill relays, and triathlons.
Not everyone is sporty or a daredevil, and there are many challenges to choose from that are suitable for people of different abilities, for instance, a karaoke night, shaving your head or a 24-hour gaming marathon.
Supporters can participate in organised events listed on the St Barnabas website or choose their own challenge to fundraise.
People wanting to take on a challenge and fundraise for St Barnabas can sign up for the listed events or choose their own challenge via the website at www.stbarnabashospice.co.uk/