Rayleigh pensioner set for charity wing walk

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 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 to.”

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 July 18 at Damyns Hall Aerodrome near Upminster with extra safety measures in place, 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.”

Emma Hamilton, challenge fundraiser at Havens Hospices says, “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.”

For more information or book your place please visit: www.havenshospices.org.uk/wingwalk or email Challenges Fundraiser Emma Hamilton at: [email protected] or call 01702 220 308.

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Mick Ferris

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