How do you envisage spending your 80th birthday? A party with all of your loved ones? Maybe a little holiday? Nothing too strenuous probably. Wendy Richmond, on the other hand reckoned that was too tame. For her 80th birthday she carried out a zip wire descent from the mountains of South Wales! As well as giving herself a birthday to remember, she raised funds for the Acorn Cancer Support Group through birthday donations from her family.
This was by no means the first time this thrill-seeking granny had taken on a challenge that would daunt many a younger person. In the past she has been wing-walking, parachuting, taken part in indoor and outdoor ballooning and zip-lining, all to help raise funds for charities that are close to her heart.
The fearless octogenarian explained why she did this:
“I saw a film a long time ago about wing walking and I remember thinking “I want to do that” but I never ever thought I’d be able to do it. Then, my family bought me this as a present for my 70th – They know what I like!”
“I loved wing-walking – it’s the freedom – it was as if I had the will to fly. You couldn’t see the plane as you were standing on the wing. It was just an amazing feeling! It’s absolutely out of this world, more than I ever expected it to be.”
She has chosen the Acorn Cancer Support group as the recipients for her epic feat this year. It is a small charity situated in St Ives, Cambridgeshire which made a difference to her life, as she explains:
“I had breast cancer 7 years ago. A friend of my sons persuaded me to go. You don’t talk about cancer unless you want to. They take us out for meals and trips down the river – it’s just a beautiful place to go. So relaxing – I love it”.
So, what’s next for our intrepid granny, does she plan to put her feet up and knit? Well as she says “I’m 80 now… but if I see a challenge I like and I think I can do it, then maybe I will!”
Here’s to many more challenges, Wendy!