Fundraiser urges others to follow her wing walk
A fearless fundraiser, who completed a dizzying wing-walk for charity last year, is urging other thrill seekers to follow in her footsteps by registering for this year’s wing walk which takes place in Gloucestershire on Friday 1st may, 2020.
Over the last eight years Sara Coates, from Leek, in Staffordshire, has completed a number of fundraising challenges to raise vital cash for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
But she says that her most recent challenge for the charity, which took place last August at RFC Rendcombe Aerodrome, Gloucestershire, was her toughest to date.
“I’ve climbed mountains, raced dragon boats, walked over hot coals and even run a three-legged race with a close friend of mine up the famous Mow cop, in Staffordshire,” explained 50-year-old Sara. “I’ve been supporting the charity since 2012 after initially volunteering on a holiday that the charity had organised to Florida.
“The trip gave 25 children, with life limiting conditions, a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Disney World.”
At the time Sara worked as a nurse for NHS North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare Trust and she’s been passionately fundraising for the charity ever since.
“This was the most challenging fundraiser yet,” said Sara. “I’ve also held curry nights, a darts marathon and band nights but this really tested my mental strength.
“I can’t even handle things like rollercoasters, I can’t stand the constant motion on them, so I was really quiet anxious ahead of this challenge.”
Sara says that she was extremely nervous getting onto the wing but what really surprised her was how cold it was, even though it was a bright and warm day.
“The force of the air on my head gave me serious head freeze and at one point I thought that I would have to give the signal for the pilot to take me down,” exclaimed Sara. “But after several minutes my head went numb and I could actually begin to enjoy it, although I didn’t think that the plane would fly as high as it did!”
Until recently fundraising wing-walks have been prohibited, but recent changes in the regulations means that members of the public can finally realise their dreams and raise money for good causes through this kind of challenge.
Wing walking, which began in the early 1900s, involves being securely strapped on the wings of a bi-plane as it takes to the skies for a 10-minute flight at speeds of up to 130mph!
Having worked in the NHS for many years Sara knows only too well how important Caudwell Children’s services are. As Sara explained: “Caudwell Children provide access to the services, equipment, therapies and treatments that disabled children need to lead happy, active and independent lives.
“Without their support children wouldn’t get the powered wheelchairs, car seats, buggies, sports equipment and short break activity days that they need to thrive.
“So the more people who sign up to undertake a wing-walk the more children the charity can support.”
Sara says that whilst a flying suit isn’t the most flattering outfit to wear, people should take the opportunity to don one in order to take on this challenge and raise even more funds for disabled children.
“Now that I’ve survived this crazy stunt I’m encouraging as many people as possible to sign up for this event,” she concluded. “I can guarantee that you’ll have the experience of a lifetime whilst raising vital funds for disabled children.”
Once Sara was strapped into the five-point safety harness, on the top wing of a biplane, they took to the skies, making zooms, climbs and passes over watching friends and family.
“Wing walkers must be over 18 years old and must be between 5 and 6 feet tall and weigh less than 13 ½ stone,” said Kate Sherwin, from Caudwell Children. “You’ll also need to be agile enough to climb up to the top wing of the aircraft, which is around 10ft.”
To find out more and to book your place on a wing walk visit the web page here. or call Vicky Glanville on 01782 433755 or email email@example.com