Guidance regarding Covid-19 and Funerals – View our Frequently Asked Questions or Read More about the steps we have taken to keep our clients and teams safe during this time.

Guidance regarding Covid-19 and Funerals – View our Frequently Asked Questions or Read More about the steps we have taken to keep our clients and teams safe during this time.

Guidance regarding Covid-19 and Funerals – View our Frequently Asked Questions or Read More about the steps we have taken to keep our clients and teams safe during this time.

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Daring funeral director strapped to stunt plane in downpour raises over £1,000 for Devon hospice

Sandra Murphy, an Area Development Manager for Funeral Partners South West Area rode on the wings of a plane during heavy rain over Devon to support people with life-limiting illnesses.

Sandra, who is based at Torbay & District Funeral Service raised over £1,346 for Hospiscare, which includes Gift Aid donations, after being fastened to a Boeing Stearman biplane as it performed daring manoeuvres from 500ft through the rainy skies of Devon.

She said: “Rain against the skin at about 100 miles per hour while at 500ft felt like razor blades, but it didn’t take away from the overwhelming joy I felt about raising money for Hospiscare.

Torbay & District has supported Hospiscare for over a decade, such as by giving bereavement awareness talks to the families of its service users and organising fundraising events. However, restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 made traditional activities challenging to carry out.

Being no stranger to skydiving, Sandra decided to take her thrill-seeking to the next level and raise funds for Hospiscare through a sponsored, Covid-secure wing walk from Dunkeswell Airfield.

She said: “Hospiscare were over the moon with the idea, so they designed a poster advertising my fundraising page for us to hang in the window at Torbay & District, as well as a t-shirt for me to wear during the flight.”

Sandra lost three stone in preparation for the wing walk and received overwhelming support from the local community, including donations from Torquay Crematorium, Barton Bouquets, CCG Contractors, and the families served by Torbay & District, to exceed her £1,000 target.

She was able to see all over Devon as she rose to 500ft despite the wind and rain, before nosediving into a series of stunts. She described: “It was all very surreal, and even peaceful until I started turning sideways and vertically. But with my family watching below, I put on a brave face!”

Martin Stokke, Events Fundraiser at Hospiscare, said: “The moment I spoke to Sandra, her enthusiasm and intentions were obvious. She wanted to make a real difference to the lives of local people, whilst taking on the challenge of a lifetime. She didn’t disappoint! Thanks to Sandra, her colleagues at Torbay & District and everyone who supported her fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Sandra is now considering a joint wing walk with her daughter, Jade Cross, Funeral Arranger at Maunders Funeral Service in Paignton, who has inherited her mother’s adventurous streak.

Sandra concluded: “Jade was very jealous of my wing walk, so we’ll have to plan a mother-daughter fundraiser soon. “Sandra lost three stone in preparation for the wing walk and received overwhelming support from the local community, including donations from Torquay Crematorium, Barton Bouquets, CCG Contractors and the families served by Torbay & District, to exceed her £1,000 target.

She was able to see all over Devon as she rose to 500ft despite the wind and rain, before nosediving into a series of stunts. She described: “It was all very surreal, and even peaceful until I started turning sideways and vertically. But with my family watching below, I put on a brave face!”

Martin Stokke, Events Fundraiser at Hospiscare, said: “The moment I spoke to Sandra, her enthusiasm and intentions were obvious. She wanted to make a real difference to the lives of local people, whilst taking on the challenge of a lifetime. She didn’t disappoint! Thanks to Sandra, her colleagues at Torbay & District and everyone who supported her fantastic fundraising efforts.”

Sandra is now considering a joint wing walk with her daughter, Jade Cross, Funeral Arranger at Maunders Funeral Service in Paignton, who has inherited her mother’s adventurous streak.

Sandra concluded: “Jade was very jealous of my wing walk, so we’ll have to plan a mother-daughter fundraiser soon.”

 

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