Two fundraisers are preparing to complete a 2,200 mile journey in the skies above Britain to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice.Advertisement
Tim Burrow and Neil King’s microlight adventure takes them around the coastline of the mainland.
Tim, a builder from Preston, said the work he sees his wife Katharine doing at the hospice had helped inspire the challenge.
He said: “We will have to set off at fairly late notice, once we know we have got a decent weather forecast. We’re planning to complete the entire journey in six days, starting and finishing at St Michael’s airfield near Garstang.
“Seeing the various things Neil has organised over the years in memory of Sharon has been an inspiration for me, and I decided it was about time I did my bit.
“Katharine has worked at St Catherine’s for more than 12 years and I have heard first-hand about all the fantastic work they do, so I’m proud to be supporting them with this adventure.”
The pair are due to undertake the Sea To The Left challenge in mid-May, and 44-year-old Tim seems confident they have the experience to complete it.
The 44-year-old added: “I’ve been flying flexwing microlights as a hobby for more than 10 years – I love the freedom of flying and I feel I’ve built up sufficient experience over the years to now feel comfortable taking on such a challenge. But it’s certainly not going to be easy.
“We will have to take everything we need for six days with us in the plane, whilst at the same time working hard to keep weight to a minimum and bulk down as there is no storage space in an open cockpit aircraft. The distance we need to cover means we’ll be flying up to seven or eight hours each day.
“Physically it’s not so challenging, but mentally – concentrating on navigation and the air space we’re in – it will get very tiring. We’re both really looking forward to the challenge though.”
The challenge is also raising funds for The Christie cancer hospital where Neil’s daughter Sharon died in 2005.
He said: “I’ve done something each year since Sharon died, including a 60-mile bike ride last year with my daughter and granddaughters, three generations of us taking part together. I was humbled by the dedication of all those involved in Sharon’s care – it’s important to me to do something to recognise that, and 10 years on this is an extra special challenge.
“Some time after starting to plan this trip I was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer – the prognosis is quite good but it makes this event seem more important.”
The pair have already raised more than £1,600 for the hospice and hospital.
Emma Jacovelli, community fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, thanked Tim and Neil for taking on such an innovative fundraiser for charity.
She said: “In 2015 we’re celebrating 30 years of St Catherine’s Hospice and we’re delighted to hear about such a unique event taking place during our special anniversary year.
“Everyone at the hospice sends lots of luck to Tim and Neil and we are looking forward to hearing regular updates as they make their way around the country this spring.”
To follow the challenge and donate you can visit the Sea To The Left website.