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High-flying pensioners come into land with £6k cheque for children’s hospice

12 January 2023 chsw Fundraising

Two Barnstaple daredevils with a combined age of nearly 200 have clocked up thousands of pounds for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) thanks to their high-flying escapades.

Ray Hales and friend Arthur Bennett visited the charity’s Little Bridge House children’s hospice in Fremington this week to present a giant cheque for nearly £6,000. 

Ray gets ready for take-off!

Ray, 94, completed a wing-walk, while Arthur, 90, did a skydive at Dunkeswell Airfield near Honiton in July last year.

The ex-RAF servicemen and former Western Power Distribution (SWEB) colleagues have been tirelessly topping up their fundraising since and were delighted to bring a giant cheque into land at the hospice on Thursday.

Ray, who has been raising money and volunteering for CHSW for more than 30 years, including a skydive in 2018, said: “Right from the start all I’ve done is try to help this fantastic charity and I will continue to do as much as I can for as long as I can.”

Arthur, who completed his third skydive for CHSW added: “It’s a fantastic feeling freefalling at 15,000ft and the views of Devon and Cornwall are marvellous.”

As well as the £5,900 they raised for CHSW, the pair also raised a further £2,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Arthur parachutes back down to earth
Eddie Farwell, Co-founder and Chief Executive of CHSW said Ray and Arthur’s incredible efforts were appreciated by everyone at the charity.

"What they have done is tremendous and a testimony to the human spirt, to their endurance and to their great sense of fun," he said.

Macmillan North Devon area fundraiser Andy Jones added: “Ray and Arthur are truly an amazing pair. Macmillan Cancer Support really couldn't do what we do, without the energy, efforts and bravery of daredevils like these.”