Team zips across the River Tyne to raise hospice funds

From left, Emma Arthur, Terry Owen-Smith and Sheila Hedley.
From left, Emma Arthur, Terry Owen-Smith and Sheila Hedley.

Two daredevil Alnwick pensioners took the plunge for HospiceCare North Northumberland when they zip-wired across the River Tyne.

Terry Owen-Smith, 86, and Sheila Hedley, 80, were among a team of 12 who took part in the Zip Slide off the Tyne Bridge challenge on Saturday.three Berwick Smile Dental Care staff.

Terry Owen-Smith pictured during his zip slide.

Terry Owen-Smith pictured during his zip slide.

The team, which also included three staff from Berwick Smile Dental Care, has raised nearly £3,000 so far, with money still to come in. This will support the delivery of 120 hours of Hospice at Home.

Sheila said: “I’ve done this challenge a few times now, but I enjoy each time just as much.

“It was cold on Saturday, but the sun came out when it was our time to go on the zip and it’s a fantastic feeling on the slide. It was a really nice team on the day, we all gelled.

“I help the hospice on a Monday on the handicrafts side and I know how important its services are to the people it supports.”

The group wave their banner.

The group wave their banner.

Terry said: “I’m pleased that I was talked into giving it a go by Sheila as I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would have no hesitation in doing another zip slide.

“It was a bit chilly on the day, but I didn’t let that bother me as I was absolutely delighted to be part of a team raising important funds for such a good cause.”

Both Sheila and Terry thanked all those who donated, including members of Alnwick Rugby Club.

Emma Arthur, HospiceCare North Northumberland community fund-raiser, said “What great fun we all had, even though we endured snow, sleet, ice and rain on the way down.

“However, the sun did manage to shine through just as we arrived and although it was incredibly cold, I’m pleased to say that all 12 of our team completed the challenge.

“I’m particularly proud of Terry and Sheila, who both managed to complete the zip with squeals of delight, unlike me who screamed with fright the entire distance.”

A Berwick Smile Dental Care spokeswoman said: “The atmosphere in the HospiceCare group was brilliant and when it was our turn, there was a moment when Erin’s nerves tried to get the better of her. Luckily, Hannah (Park) and Indra (Rampersad) were right behind to give moral support and ultimately help Erin (Walsh) fly across the Tyne.”