There are many ways to celebrate significant birthdays but it’s unlikely most of us would celebrate turning 60 by choosing to ‘wing walk’.
However, one Bedford resident, Bernice Adeniyi-Jones, is doing just that to raise much-needed funds for IMPAKT, the charity that she works for.
On Sunday 1 August, Bernice will be taking off from Damyns Hall Aerodrome in Upminster, Essex. But instead of sitting safely buckled into a seat, she will be buckled onto a harness on the outside of the plane.
And yes, it’s as crazy and scary as it sounds.
“I turned 60 in May and decided that I would like to do a wing walk to celebrate and take the opportunity to raise some money for a couple of good causes,” said Bernice.
“I’m aiming to raise £250 to split between Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends and Impakt Housing & Support, the charity I work for.”
Bernice has worked in the finance department at IMPAKT housing & support, formerly YMCA Bedfordshire, for the last four years and knows only too well the ‘impact’ the work has across the county.
IMPAKT offers a range of projects but its main focus is housing, currently accommodating 230 people aged 16-64 through its portfolio of properties in Luton and Bedford.
Whether it’s relationships breaking down, a series of unforeseen life events, decline in mental health, loss of income or systemic problems including a lack of affordable housing, people can find themselves forced onto the streets or part of the wider hidden community of sofa-surfers, or living in unsatisfactory temporary accommodation.
Bernice’s challenge will not only benefit IMPAKT but she is also taking part in Bedford Hospital Charity & Friends’ One Million Miles appeal to raise money for a new dedicated A&E Department for children and a state-of-the-art Computerised Tomography (CT) scanner.
The fundraiser is asking people of Bedfordshire and beyond – to walk, swim, run, row or cycle One Million Miles to raise these vital funds.
Bernice is likely to be the only participant who will be walking her miles several hundred feet above the ground.
You can support Bernice in what she’s describing as ‘her crazy birthday endeavour’ by visiting her JustGiving page here.