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High-flying pensioners arrive in the country with a £6,000 check for a children’s hospice

Two Barnstaple daredevils aged almost 200 have raised thousands of pounds for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) thanks to their high-flying escapades.

Ray Hales and friend Arthur Bennett visited children’s hospice charity Little Bridge House in Fremington this week to hand over a giant check for almost £6,000.

Ray, 94, completed the wing walk while Arthur, 90, made the jump at Dunkeswell Airfield, near Honiton, in July last year.

Arthur’s amazing jump

The ex-RAF soldier and former Western Power Distribution (SWEB) colleagues have tirelessly topped up their funds since then and were delighted to bring a giant check to the hospice grounds on Thursday.

Ray, who has been fundraising and volunteering for CHSW for more than 30 years, including skydiving in 2018, said: “I have tried to help this fantastic charity from the start and will continue to do so. as long as I can.”

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

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

Ray's incredible wing walk
Ray’s incredible wing walk

Eddie Farwell, co-founder and chief executive of CHSW said Ray and Arthur’s incredible efforts were appreciated by all members of the charity.

“What they have achieved is tremendous and a testament to the human spirit, their perseverance and their great sense of fun,” he said.

Macmillan North Devon area fundraiser Andy Jones added: “Ray and Arthur are a truly wonderful couple. Macmillan Cancer Support really couldn’t do what we do without the energy, effort and courage of brave people like these.’

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