A WOKING funeral arranger has overcome personal challenges to complete a wing walk and raise more than £1,200 for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice.

Louise Jarrett, of Woking Funeral Service, was finally able to support the charity by walking on the wing of a biplane at 500ft, an achievement which required her to lose five stone over two years.

She said: “I’ve always had this idea to grab people’s attention and raise money for the invaluable support given to families whose loved ones are passing away.

“I had friends who were looked after extremely well by Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, so I wanted to give something back for their amazing end-of-life care.”

Louise set out to meet the weight requirement for a sponsored wing walk two years ago by striding 4km every day and sticking to a strict diet.

Then COVID-19 restrictions meant she had to think creatively to maintain her motivation and continue losing weight throughout 2020.

She said: “When the lockdown restrictions came into effect I started putting on the weight I’d lost, so I began a virtual Land’s End to John O’Groats walking challenge, which is 874 miles in total.

“I focused on the people in the hospice that could really use my help and I was able to make progress again. I don’t like letting anyone down.”

Louise booked the wing walk in March with a stone left to lose and set up a JustGiving page, where friends, family and colleagues donated £1,235 to the hospice, comfortably passing Louise’s £900 target.

Businesses also showed their support, with The Wellington Arms pub in Sandhurst raffling two hampers on her behalf, which contributed £110.

“I was so overjoyed at how much I raised,” Louise said. “It gave me an enormous amount of motivation to lose the last stone.”

Louise took off from RFC Rendcomb Airfield, Gloucestershire, strapped to a Boeing-Stearman biplane which flew at 120mph, levelling out at 500ft.

“I was a bit nervous at first but I absolutely loved it when I was up in the air,” Louise added. “It was an incredible feeling and something I would happily do again.”

Fiona Chapman, events fundraiser at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, said: “Louise has done amazingly  not only to lose weight, but then complete the wing walk.

“The money that Louise raised could pay for a week’s care from one of our Care at Home nurses, who provide patients who wish to be in their own home with relief from pain and difficult symptoms.”

Louise now plans to set herself another weight loss target and organise a second wing walk for the  hospice.

For more information or to donate, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-jarrett7