Fearless fundraisers got a bird’s eye view of the summer countryside on Sunday 9 July when they took part in a sponsored wing walk in aid of Rennie Grove Hospice Care.
Sprightly 74-year-old David Coles from Wycombe literally reached new heights as a dedicated volunteer for the charity when he signed up for the challenge alongside Rennie Grove Hospice at Home Nurses, Sadie Hall and Tessa Mannering, and Healthcare Assistant Hannah Briggs, all of whom care for patients in their own homes across Wycombe.
Afterwards, he described the “unique” experience, saying: “What made the event even better was all the lovely supporters who came along to give encouragement and wave. I was especially pleased to see the nurses there. I would do it again and I’m looking for another challenge now. Pity they wouldn't let us loop the loop though!”
David, Sadie and Tessa were among 10 Rennie Grove supporters who took to the skies above Essex strapped securely to the top of a brightly coloured biplane, under the watchful guidance of wing walking experts from Aerobatic Tactics. Together, the wing walkers have raised £9,000 to help fund Rennie Grove’s vital work in providing nursing care and family support for local families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.
David has been a staunch supporter of Rennie Grove after the charity cared for his wife Anne more than 10 years ago, enabling her to spend her final days at home with him by her side. Sadie was one of the Rennie Grove nurses who supported Anne and David through that tough time and her work as a clinical nurse specialist means that she continues to visit patients like Anne in their own homes to help manage symptoms and avoid unnecessary hospital admissions.
“It is a privilege to be involved with patients and their families at a very difficult time in their lives,” she said.
“Caring for people in their own home enables them to continue living their life, with their loved ones around them. The wing walk was an amazing and exhilarating experience; I loved every second of it and would do it again in a heartbeat. It was a way to prove just how much we value the service Rennie Grove offers and appreciate the part we have to play in providing it.”
In the past 10 years, David has been a regular volunteering force at numerous Rennie Grove events and street collections – and also taken part in a fundraising expedition to Everest Base and to India, looped the loop in a glider and parachuted out of a plane. More recently, he has trained to become a volunteer listener for patients, carers and family members who are being supported by Rennie Grove’s nursing care.