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A businessman who has a fear of heights is preparing to take to the skies strapped to the wings of a plane in support of his local hospice.
Graham Weighill will brave a wing-walk in September to raise funds for Ashgate Hospice, which cares for patients across North Derbyshire.
The 62-year-old, from Brimington, is “far from an adrenaline junkie”, but says he is keen to overcome his fear of heights.
He is fundraising in collaboration with his friend Councillor Martin Thacker, who has chosen the hospice as his charity of the year during his second term as chair of North East Derbyshire District Council.
Graham, who works as a buyer for medical engineering firm BeaconMedaes Ltd, said: “I was asked to be a member of the chair’s appeal and after completing a fire walk last year I decided to set myself a new challenge.
“I’ve been looking at different challenges and you can’t get much bigger than a wing-walk so I thought I’d go for it!
“I’ve been asked if I’m an adrenaline junkie and I’m far from it; I get nervous and don’t like heights but you have to overcome your fears.
“My friends and family say I must be daft! I’ve had a few people ask me if I’ve been practicing but I’m not sure there’s much I can do! It will be more of a mental challenge than anything.”
It’s the second time Councillor Thacker has fundraised for the hospice as part of the chair’s appeal.
Between 2021 and 2022 his team raised an incredible £79,500 towards end of life care across North Derbyshire.
Graham hopes he will be able to help contribute a four-figure amount to Councillor Thacker’s pot when he braves the wing-walk at an airfield in Cirencester this month.
He is set to take on the challenge on 23rd September – weather permitting.
He added: “I’ve known Martin for a number of years and when he asked us to support his chair’s appeal this year, we had no hesitation in accepting his offer.
“Ashgate Hospice is a very worthy cause and I’m proud to be fundraising for the charity.
“People assume wrongly that the hospice is Government funded and it’s obviously reliant on donations.
“You never know when someone in your family might require the hospice so doing what I can to support it can only be a good thing.”
Ashgate Hospice must raise £9 million over and above NHS funding to fund its services for patients in their own homes and at its site in Old Brampton, Chesterfield.
Make a donation to Ashgate Hospice on Graham’s JustGiving page.