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Wing Walking Spectacular

Three adventurous people took to the skies and wing walked for Sight Concern Worcestershire on Sunday 18th June.

 They were Mark Abel, sportsman and long-term supporter from Warndon (who’s also flying in memory of his son Sam, who died earlier this year); Jenny Gage, Chief Officer of Sight Concern, also from Warndon; and Shirley Sheridan, volunteer and Sight Concern trustee who lives in Upton-upon-Severn.

Talking about the challenge, Mark Abel explained, “Six years ago I suddenly lost my sight in just three hours and I despaired about my future. But Sight Concern gave me my confidence back by giving me specialist training in how to do so many things, from everyday essentials such as choosing clothes, making a cup of tea, using a mobile phone, getting from A to B and using a computer again. Their specialist software and magnification also enabled me to return back to work with the NHS.

“My sporting capability was totally dented when I lost my sight, but Sight Concern, along with my son Sam, helped me return to sport and try new activities. I now tandem cycle, play golf,  and I’ve even represented the UK swimming at the 2016 Invictus Games and Alpine Ski Racing with the Armed Forces Parasnowsport Team.”

Shirley Sheridan also lost her sight suddenly. “After an experience like that, nothing will frighten me as much again. I’m now getting a reputation for being fearless – I’ve parachuted from 10,000 feet, I’ve abseiled the Abberley Clock Tower (which was a bit tame) and Cripplegate House, and on Sunday I was delighted to brave the elements ducking and diving on a biplane!” She added, “Sight Concern was here for me all the time, so giving something back to the charity is very important to me.”

Jenny Gage, Chief Officer of the charity, said, “I’m always looking for new and challenging adventures, and this is undoubtedly one of them. I’m so proud of Mark and Shirley, and when I heard about their plans to wing walk, I knew I had to join them. June 18th was a very special day for the charity and for us all.”

Back to Mark for the final word: “Wing walking at Chiltern Park Aerodrome was the most terrifying but amazing challenge to date!   It was definitely a day to remember and honour the memory of a dearly missed and loved son, my wee boy Sam”.


Jenny and Mark Shirley, Mark and Jenny Shirley taking off Wingwalk Jenny 1

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