Three generations to take on wing walking challenge for West Sussex charities

A team of brave people are challenging themselves to a wing walk to raise funds for two West Sussex charities.

Safe in Sussex and Kangaroos will benefit from the event, which takes place on Saturday (June 1) at Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster, Essex.

Steyning wing walk ladies

Steyning wing walk ladies

Three generations of the same family will be in the sky for the challenge organised by Helen Hitchcock, owner of Sakala in High Street, Steyning, which sells ethically sourced gifts, homeware and clothing from India and Nepal.

Helen said: “I have spent my life buying tickets inside planes and thought maybe I should now stand on one! The two charities parallel the interest I have with Maher, the women’s refuge in Pune, Goa which helps women and children.” Included in the team is a member of Safe in Sussex staff Debbie West and her mum, Ros Bartlett, who is 80 at the end of the year.

Debbie’s 15-year-old niece wanted to join them but there is a minimum age of 18. However, wing walking company Sky Max has allowed her niece, Freya Bartlett, to go in the plane.

Debbie West, Safe in Sussex’s community fundraiser, said: “I am delighted to raise awareness and funds for Safe in Sussex and Kangaroos and also have three generations of my family up in the sky that day.”

Helen Hitchcock, Samantha Norgate from Kangaroos and Debbie West

Helen Hitchcock, Samantha Norgate from Kangaroos and Debbie West

Safe in Sussex aims to increase the awareness and stop the cycle of domestic abuse in West Sussex, with confidential refuges and one community refuge with a connecting drop in centre in Littlehampton.

The charity also facilitates support groups for women in the community and healthy relationship education programmes for primary and secondary schools in West Sussex. It is also launching a West Sussex Domestic Abuse Outreach Service which aims to reach individuals where there is a gap in the services.

Special needs charity Kangaroos provides all year round clubs and trips out for children and young adults with a range of learning disabilities.

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

Ros Bartlett and Debbie West

Ros Bartlett and Debbie West

“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.”

To donate to the team’s efforts, visit their fundraising page