Wingwalking for end of life care

Freda’s Wingwalking triumph

Having accomplished kayaking in Antarctica and three polar plunges at 70 years old, Freda’s adrenaline-fuelled appetite gets her stepping out of her comfort zone! This time, instead of taking the bitter plunge, Freda soared through the skies for Dorothy House raising an incredible £2,076 Wingwalking for end of life care.

From seeing an event poster in her local supermarket to reaching heights of 800ft, Freda told us all about her journey from the supermarket to the skies, and why it was important to her to raise vital funds for Dorothy House Hospice Care.

Hosted by Aerosuperbatics, our Wingwalking day took place on Thursday 9 May, with five wonderful supporters coming together with their family and friends for a walk in the clouds to remember.

Dorothy House Wingwalker supporter punching the air after completing Wingwalk

What was the atmosphere like on the day of the Wingwalk?

“There was a great atmosphere on the day, and having our supporters there cheering all five of us on really helped! We were blessed with glorious weather and my great niece Esme had baked us a cake which we all shared. It was a really lovely day all round. The support from the Dorothy House team on the day was brilliant. The whole day was just terrific!”

Dorothy House supporter holding a cake stood next to her niece

How did you feel once you’d taken off? 

“I was glad to leave the bumpy field behind and take to the skies. Looking down and round  the countryside was stunning and I couldn’t stop laughing out loud and grinning – such a ludicrous thing to be doing. Also thoughts of those who would have loved to be there. My Mum, brother and his wife, and several friends who are sadly no longer with us. When my time comes, I hope I can be lucky enough to go from Dorothy House. The best.”

How did Wingwalking for end of life care compare to other challenges you have accomplished throughout your life?

“The real challenge came on my Antarctica trip when we were invited to take a ‘polar plunge’.  I had read and heard about this – when you jump or dive into the icy waters. ‘No way’ – I thought and ‘You must be joking’.  Of course I did it, with sea temperature of zero degrees!  Yes, of course it was head bitingly, breath takingly cold but I did it. I might never get another chance. A large warm towel & a hot toddy when you get out, paired with a massive dose of adrenaline. I have subsequently done three Arctic polar plunges.

By comparison, the Wingwalk was straight forward, no learning or training, but that great rush of adrenaline is just the same with a degree of smugness of course. I never miss an opportunity to do something totally bonkers.”

Dorothy House supporter wingwalking for end of life care

What would your advice be to anyone considering signing up to a Dorothy House Challenge?

“Just do it! People say ‘oh I could never do anything like that’, but how do you know if you’ve never tried? I wasn’t nervous. I had arranged an earlier visit to the airfield and had been helped up onto a plane and strapped on.  The harness made me feel totally secure. Anyone could do the same. Always explore the possibility before rejecting it – you may surprise yourself!

Seize every opportunity. It may only come your way once. Don’t end up thinking ‘why didn’t I?’ or ‘I wish I had’ – or worst of all – ‘if only… ‘

It doesn’t have to be a Wingwalk, but challenge yourself and feel your confidence grow… and enjoy the adrenaline!”

Wingwalkers in front of biplane wearing red jumpsuits

A huge congratulations to our incredible supporters who have raised £9,838.45 for Dorothy House, helping to provide palliative and end of life care both at the Hospice in Winsley and out in our local community. An extraordinary achievement and a once-in-a-lifetime challenge ticked off the bucket list!

Take on a challenge!

If you’re feeling inspired to take on a challenge for Dorothy House Hospice, have a look at what’s on offer and please get in touch with our Fundraising Team on