'Height junkie' grandma takes flight for children's charity

'All too soon it was over,' says 70-year-old of hang-gliding fundraiser


The sky was the limit when north London grandmother Sarah Barnett decided to mark her 70th birthday with an activity supporting Camp Simcha.

Watched by family members including her husband David and two of her three grandchildren, the “height junkie” raised more than £750 from a sponsored hang-glide in Lewes, Sussex.

“This is something I had always wanted to do — that thrill of literally jumping off a cliff,” the Edgware resident said.

“I was the oldest by far among the group. When the instructor asked about any medical problems, I didn’t know where to start. I told him about my hips and my back. I think he got the picture.”

Getting into the hang-gliding suit had been a challenge in itself. “There was no way I could do it on my own. The instructor pulled, my son-in-law pushed and my husband kept me upright!”

The experience had been a mixture of “exhilaration and wonder. With the wind in my face, it was pure freedom, a fantastic feeling like nothing else. I loved it as we dipped and turned. I could have stayed up there for hours.

“All too soon it was over and my grandchildren were hugging me and kissing me, saying: ‘I can’t believe you’ve done it.’”

She hoped the proceeds would help Camp Simcha “to continue the wonderful work it does” in supporting children with serious illness and their families.

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