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Vikki to complete 40 challenges before her 40th birthday

A volunteer and supporter is on a mission to complete 40 challenges before her 40th birthday, to raise money for the Hospice.

Vikki Bennett, 39, from Gosforth, Newcastle, is less than 10 months away from her 40th birthday and wants to do something amazing to celebrate.

Before turning 40, Vikki will be taking on a number of challenges with the aim to raise £5,000 towards therapeutic activities for our patients. Challenges will include zip wires, the Great North Swim, holding a tarantula, to name just a few.

She will be dedicating her challenges in memory of Dave Crozier, a close friend’s dad who died at St Oswald's, aged 57, in February 2014.

Vikki said:

“The staff at the Hospice did a fantastic job making Dave and his family’s difficult time as comfortable as possible – raising money for the Hospice is a way for us to say thanks. His wife and daughter will also be taking part in challenges with me.

“St Oswald’s is also a very special place for me as I volunteer in the craft room and patient transport service.  I’ve always been a supporter of the Hospice but when I was made redundant in 2012 due to long term ill health, volunteering has been a way for me to get my confidence back. I’ve suffered from anorexia nervosa since my mid-teens, meeting lots of people who have lost their battle with the illness, which has highlighted to me how short life can be.

“This is part of the reason why I want to raise money for therapeutic activities – to help patients take their mind off their illness and hopefully help to ease any physical or emotional pain they may experience.

“I’d also like the money to go towards the Hospice’s patient transport service. For patients who have serious and complex conditions, arranging events can be quite difficult, but the Hospice goes the extra mile. Transport can be the main reason for why patients can’t attend events so making sure there is transport is so important.”

Many of the events and activities Vikki has set herself will be extreme challenges, demonstrating just how far she is prepared to push herself to raise money for St Oswald’s. She continued:

“I’m not an adrenaline junkie at all; I hate heights, so setting myself challenges such as a skydive and riding a rollercoaster are going to really test me!

“I have a few of my bigger and scarier challenges coming up soon. I took part in the Boxing Day dip and felt my heart stop, which is making me feel a bit nervous for the Great North Swim where I will be swimming a mile. I’m hoping the water will be a bit warmer this time around though! This summer I’m also doing my first zip wire, a 5k run and the Great North Run.”

Vikki turns 40 in March 2017. If you would like to donate to her cause, or follow her progress, visit her Just Giving page: