81-year-old to skydive for hospice care

81-year-old Steyning resident, Ray Shaw, has signed up to do a 15,000 ft skydive on August 15th to raise funds for St Barnabas House – the hospice who cared for his mother-in-law, Heather, at the end of her life.

In 2016, the day before her husband’s funeral, Heather received the devastating news that she had terminal cancer. “Mum’s health declined quite quickly, but she was determined to stay at home and was extremely reluctant to receive hospice care,” explains Sue, Ray’s wife. “Ray and I were caring for her, but it became very difficult for us to do it on our own.

“Eventually she reluctantly agreed to visit St Barnabas, and as soon as we got there, it just transformed us all. St Barnabas took on the care my mother needed and that meant that I didn’t have to be a carer anymore, I could be her daughter again. I had my Mum back, and that’s a gift that I’ll never be able to repay.”

Since Heather’s passing in 2017, Ray and Sue have held many fundraising events to raise money for St Barnabas House in memory of her beloved Mother. “I often hold tea parties, and bike rides to raise funds, but Ray likes the more adventurous things!”

To celebrate his 80th birthday last year, Ray abseiled 100 meters down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth. And to celebrate his 81st birthday, he’ll be taking on a 15,000 ft skydive on Sunday 15th August. “We couldn’t throw a party last year due to Covid-19, and we can’t again this year, so Ray wanted to celebrate by taking on an adventure of a lifetime!”

You can visit Ray’s JustGiving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ray-shaw1 or, to take on a charity skydive for St Barnabas House, please visit www.stbh.org.uk/skydive