Daredevil hospice supporter raises thousands for charity

Categories: Care, Community Engagement, and Featured.

A supporter of St Clare Hospice in Essex has raised thousands of pounds for the charity after completing a series of daredevil challenges.

Dan Mackay’s fundraising adventures are in memory of his mum, Barbara Mackay, who died in the care of St Clare in December 2016.

Last October Dan scaled Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania raising £2,200 in vital funding. This summer he decided to ramp up the adrenaline and continue with his adventurous theme by taking on a daring, free-fall abseil at the Orbit sculpture in Stratford’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, as well as a skydive challenge at Beccles Airfield, Suffolk – raising almost £800 for the charity.

“Wow, what a couple of weekends I’ve had!” he said. “Firstly the Orbit Abseil on Saturday July 27 – which includes the UK’s highest free-fall abseil challenge at 262ft! Then, a skydive on August 3 – my first ever time jumping out of a plane.

“What a great laugh I’ve had. I do a little climbing anyway, so I was pretty comfortable hanging around from a rope at the Orbit challenge. The weather was good and the view was awesome! However, the skydive was, hands-down, the most amazing, exhilarating and extreme thing I have ever done – and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

Commenting on raising vital funding for St Clare Hospice, Dan reflected: “Going into this second year of fundraising for St Clare was an easy decision for me to make. I get to continue contributing to such a wonderful, important place in our community and at the same time have eye-opening, life-enhancing experiences such as those I have completed so far.

“I will personally be eternally grateful to St Clare Hospice for everything they did for mum, and the rest of the family. I just can’t praise the staff there highly enough, for the care Mum received in those last days and for how their compassionate support extended to us, too. Knowing that it’s largely funded by donations has just made our whole family want to give back, to say thank you to the people who helped us. The staff really cared for all of us.

“As for the future – I feel like I’ve got the bug now, and I want to continue supporting St Clare! I’ve already signed up for the Hospice’s annual Autumn Firewalk event on October 27, where I’ll walk barefoot over red-hot wood embers. I’m also already planning next years’ big challenge, and it has another ‘mountain’ theme, but I’ll save those details for another time!”

Challenges and Events Fundraiser at St Clare, Emma Broadbent, said: “Dan’s dedication to raising vital funds for his local hospice is amazing. It’s an honour and privilege to be there for local people who need us, but much of what we do is down to people’s generosity in supporting and donating to the cause.

“Everyone who has supported St Clare is partly responsible for what we’re able to do here at the hospice – it really is a community, and Dan completely embodies that notion. Dan’s support is invaluable to us, and we can’t wait to see what he’s got planned for the future.”

For more information visit St Clare Hospice