Inspirational Vera, 71, does charity zipwire challenge

Vera Edwards and her grandson Lewis Denny took on the charity zipwire challenge for HospiceCare North Northumberland.
Vera Edwards and her grandson Lewis Denny took on the charity zipwire challenge for HospiceCare North Northumberland.

A dare-devil grandmother, who brushed aside her fears of heights and water, has proved that age is no barrier, after completing a high-octane charity challenge.

Vera Edwards, 71, zipwired off the Tyne Bridge on Saturday, travelling diagonally across the River Tyne for 230 metres, before finishing at HMS Calliope on the Gateshead side of the water.

The plucky Alnwick pensioner tackled the feat in aid of HospiceCare North Northumberland, raising hundreds of pounds in the process.

She took on the zipwire after deciding to do something daring to mark her 71st birthday in the summer. And she completed the stunt with her grandson, Lewis Denny, 18, also from Alnwick, who is the Hospice’s Young Ambassador.

Vera said: “People were calling me mad for contemplating such an event, but I wanted to prove that anyone can take part, even at 71.

“I enjoyed the day and we have had fantastic support from family and friends, with sponsorship well over £700.”

Ten other people took on the challenge for HospiceCare. These were brother and sister Natasha and Josh Blackburn, Julie Smith, Nina Gordon, Melanie McDonald, Caroline Templeton, Jolly Roger, Madeline Russell, Deborah Brooks and her daughter Lydia.

Collectively, the 12 thrill-seekers have raised more than £1,600 for the charity.

Rebecca Taylor, who is the Hospice’s events and community fund-raiser, said: “Everyone was such a fantastic sport.

“It takes some courage to sit on the edge of the bridge and then push yourself forward off it, with the Tyne river below and then come down the wire at a speed of 25mph.”

To do a zipwire for the charity in April, call the Hospice on 01665 606515.