Three generations join wing walking team, raising money for two West Sussex charities

Three generations of one family have taken to the sky together as part of a wing walk for two West Sussex charities.

Ros Bartlett, 79, and her daughter Debbie West, community fundraiser for Safe in Sussex, were able to wing walk, while Ros’s 15-year-old granddaughter, Debbie’s niece, was allowed to go up in the plane.

Team Sakala, Mark Newman, Lindsay Kirby, Sara Guiel, Diane Holmes, Helen Hitchcock, Sarah Hand, Ros Bartlett, Tony Cottey, Debbie West and Nicky Chisholm

Team Sakala, Mark Newman, Lindsay Kirby, Sara Guiel, Diane Holmes, Helen Hitchcock, Sarah Hand, Ros Bartlett, Tony Cottey, Debbie West and Nicky Chisholm

Ros said: “It has been something I have wanted to do for many years and a fantastic thing to do in my 80th year. It was so magical. Having three generations of my family up in the sky that day was then the icing on the cake.”

She explained her granddaughter Freya Bartlett wanted to join in but was unable to wing walk as she is under 18. Sky Max, however, allowed her to go up in the plane for a spin.

They were supporting Helen Hitchcock, owner of Sakala, in High Street, Steyning, who organised the wing walk at Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster.

The team of ten raised more than £14,400 to be split equally between two charities, Safe in Sussex and Kangaroos fun disability clubs.

Debbie West, community fundraiser for Safe in Sussex, wing walking

Debbie West, community fundraiser for Safe in Sussex, wing walking

Helen said: “You probably wonder why I did it, well to challenge myself to lose weight, to fulfil a dream which seems to have inspired others and to create a great team with the goal of raising some pennies and the profiles of two great causes.

“Plus, I always say shoot for the stars, who knows what will happen along the way and yes I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Safe in Sussex aims to increase awareness and stop the cycle of domestic abuse in West Sussex. The charity has confidential refuges and a community refuge in Littlehampton, for women and children who are fleeing domestic abuse.

Sharon Howard, chief executive, said: “I am so proud of what this group of people have done for us, especially Debbie’s mum at such a great age. This money will really make a difference to all the people who use our services in West Sussex.

Steyning shop owner Helen Hitchcock, organiser of the wing walk

Steyning shop owner Helen Hitchcock, organiser of the wing walk

“I would like to thank everyone who took part and I know that some people had to lose weight to participate and overcome a fear of heights, too.”

Kangaroos is based in Haywards Heath and provides clubs and outings for children and young adults with a range of learning disabilities.

Samantha Norgate, fundraising co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as one of two charities to benefit from this fantastic flying fundraiser, in this our special 25th anniversary year.

“The money raised will help fund some of our memory of a lifetime trips that we are organising for our young people this year, including a two-night stay to Euro Disney.”