Microlight mission in aid of St Catherine’s!
Two daring flight enthusiasts will reach dizzy heights on a 2,200-mile journey by microlight around the British Isles raising money for charity.
Tim Burrow and Neil King have nick-named their expedition ‘Sea to the Left’ – since as long as they keep the ocean on that side, they will be travelling in the right direction.
The journey has grown considerably from a simple Land’s End to John O’Groats flight that the pair had originally planned, and now takes in the whole of the British mainland coastline, including the iconic landmarks.
Each flying in their own microlight, Tim is using the challenge to raise money for St Catherine’s Hospice – where his wife Katharine works in The Woodside lymphoedema clinic – while Neil is flying in aid of The Christie cancer hospital, where his daughter Sharon was looked after before she sadly died in 2005.
You can see them in action by clicking here to see Granada Reports’ film!
They are aiming to set off for the six-day trip in May, but will be keeping a close eye on the weather forecast to ensure they pick a safe week to fly.
Tim, a builder from Preston, said: “We will have to set off at fairly late notice, once we know we have got a decent weather forecast. We’re planning to complete the entire journey in six days, starting and finishing at St Michael’s airfield near Garstang.
“Seeing the various things Neil has organised over the years in memory of Sharon has been an inspiration for me, and I decided it was about time I did my bit.
“Katharine has worked at St Catherine’s for more than 12 years and I have heard first-hand about all the fantastic work they do, so I’m proud to be supporting them with this adventure.”
The 44-year-old added: “I’ve been flying flexwing microlights as a hobby for more than 10 years – I love the freedom of flying and I feel I’ve built up sufficient experience over the years to now feel comfortable taking on such a challenge. But it’s certainly not going to be easy! We will have to take everything we need for six days with us in the plane, whilst at the same time working hard to keep weight to a minimum and bulk down as there is no storage space in an open cockpit aircraft. The distance we need to cover means we’ll be flying up to seven or eight hours each day. Physically it’s not so challenging, but mentally – concentrating on navigation and the air space we’re in – it will get very tiring. We’re both really looking forward to the challenge though.”
Neil, from Bolton, has been flying microlights – one or two-seater aeroplanes – for the past 25-years, but says this will be his toughest flight yet.
The 67-year-old said: “I’ve never done an expedition this long – or spent so many nights in a tent!
“I’ve done something each year since Sharon died, including a 60-mile bike ride last year with my daughter and granddaughters, three generations of us taking part together. I was humbled by the dedication of all those involved in Sharon’s care – it’s important to me to do something to recognise that, and 10 years on this is an extra special challenge.
“Some time after starting to plan this trip I was diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer – the prognosis is quite good but it makes this event seem more important.”
Emma Jacovelli, community fundraiser at St Catherine’s Hospice, thanked Tim and Neil for taking on such an innovative fundraiser for charity.
She said: “In 2015 we’re celebrating 30 years of St Catherine’s Hospice and we’re delighted to hear about such a unique event taking place during our special anniversary year.
“Everyone at the hospice sends lots of luck to Tim and Neil and we are looking forward to hearing regular updates as they make their way around the country this spring.”
To find out more about the expedition and to donate click here.
To find out how you could support St Catherine’s Hospice during their 30th anniversary year – including information about their Give A Gift campaign – click here or call 01772 695290.
Share with your friends!