A Magnificent Man ON A Flying Machine

Published 5 May 2015

Geoff Furness gives the thumbs up during a charity sky dive challenge

Intrepid fundraiser Geoff Furness is taking his charity endeavours to new heights by taking a flight strapped to the wing of an aeroplane.

His wing walk, in aid of Sight Support Derbyshire, is the latest in a series of exploits which has already seen him walk on hot coals for the sight loss charity when it was known as Derbyshire Association For The Blind, and complete a sky dive for another good cause.

Geoff, who lives in Smalley, admits it’s all about the adrenaline rush. “If I can get a buzz out of something, and it helps people at the same time, then it’s a double whammy. I like doing things that are just that little bit different,” he said.

“I fully appreciate all the effort that goes into any fundraising activity but for me it’s got to be something a bit more off beat. Bike rides and marathons are important but they don’t offer a sufficient adrenaline rush. I’m not an extrovert or adventure seeker as such, I just like to push the boundaries.”

The 64-year-old, who works as a building manager in Nottingham, added that time was running out for him to take on his latest challenge, which he’ll do in Leicester on 7 June. He said: “The cut-off age for wing walking is 65, so that was an extra spur to do it now.

“My son thinks I’m barmy. My eldest granddaughter is 12 and says I’m Mad Granddad, but they’re all behind me all the way.”

The changes Geoff has noticed in his own eyesight over the years is one of the reasons why he’s fundraising for Sight Support Derbyshire, the county’s only local sight loss charity offering  practical, social and emotional support to blind and visually impaired children and adults.

He added: “My eyesight is not as good as it was. It’s nowhere near as bad as being visually impaired but it is deteriorating, so I have an empathy with this charity.”

Before Geoff reaches for the skies, he has to reach his sponsorship target of £1,000, but has already received support from local companies.

Eileen Bagguley, Communications and Fundraising Manager for Sight Support Derbyshire, said: “We’re thrilled that Geoff is taking on this challenge to raise money to help visually impaired people living in Derbyshire. Given his past record, I’m sure he’ll fly through the air with the greatest of ease.”

Anyone who wants to sponsor Geoff Furness can do so online through his Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/jefffurniss, or send a cheque made payable to Sight Support Derbyshire to Sight Support Derbyshire, 65-69 Nottingham Road, Derby DE1 3QS. Please mark the back of the cheque Geoff Furness wing walk.

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