Weight loss journey ends in 500ft wing walk for hospice

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High-flying Louise Jarrett, Funeral Arranger at Woking Funeral Service, fulfilled a decade-long dream to overcome her personal challenges and raise more than £1,000 for her local hospice service.

Louise was finally able to support Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice by walking on the wings of a plane at 500ft, which required her to lose five stone across two years.

She said: “As a funeral arranger, I’ve always had this idea to grab people’s attention and raise money for the invaluable support given to families whose loved ones are passing away.

“I had friends who were looked after extremely well by Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, so I wanted to give something back for their amazing end-of-life care.”

Louise set out to meet the weight requirement for a sponsored wing walk two years ago by walking 4km every day and sticking to a strict diet.

Covid-19 restrictions meant she had to think creatively to maintain her motivation and continue losing weight throughout 2020.

She said: “I started putting on the weight I lost when lockdown restrictions came into effect, so I began a virtual Land’s End to John o’ Groats walking challenge, which is 874 miles in total.

“I focused on the people in the hospice that could really use my help and was able to make progress again, as I don’t like letting anyone down.”

Louise decided to book the sponsored wing walk in March with one stone left to lose and set up a JustGiving page, where friends, family and colleagues collectively donated £1,235 to Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, passing Louise’s £900 goal.

Local businesses also showed their support, with The Wellington Arms pub raffling two hampers on behalf of Louise, contributing £110.

Lousie said: “I was so overjoyed at how much I raised. It gave me an enormous amount of motivation to lose the last stone by June.”

Louise felt nervous as she took off from RFC Rendcomb Airfield, Gloucestershire, while strapped to a Boeing Stearman biplane at 120mph. However, there were no regrets as she levelled out at 500ft.

She said: “I absolutely loved it when I was up in the air. It was an incredible feeling and something I would happily do again.”

Fiona Chapman, Events Fundraiser at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, said: “Louise has done amazingly to not only lose weight, but then to complete the wing walk as well.

“The money that Louise raised could pay for a week’s care from one of our Care at Home nurses, who will provide patients with relief from pain and difficult symptoms, where patients wish to be in their own home.”

Louise now plans to set herself another weight loss target and organise a second wing walk for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

Donations can be made to Louise’s fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-jarrett7

Anyone inspired to arrange their own wing walk for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice can do so at www.pth.org.uk/event/wing-walk-2021/