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Meet the Dorset woman who went to great heights to raise money for charity 

A DORSET woman who was set a variety of bucket list challenges by her grandchildren recently ticked another one off the list as she took to the skies to complete a wing walk to raise much-needed money for charity. 

Esther Hussey, 81, found herself strapped to the top wing of a plane at the start of June where she raised £1,500 for the Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. 

Esther is no stranger to taking on extreme challenges as her grandchildren set her a variety of bucket list challenges – one of which saw her fly down a quarry in Snowdonia on a zip wire where she hurtled across the valley at speeds of 100mph. 

Explaining how the wing walk came about, Esther said: “My grandchildren knew I would not do a sky dive or a bungee jump, but I was game for most other things! I decided to make my wing walk worthwhile for charity and opted for Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance.  

“We are so fortunate to have this lifesaving service, and they just happen to be based at the Henstridge Airfield, from where I did the wing walk.”

Esther making the most of her time in the sky Picture: Janine Williams

“The wing walk was actually a birthday present from my grandchildren. As part of the other bucket list challenges, I have also travelled to the top of the Jungfrau in Switzerland, known as the top of Europe, by mountain railway – that’s cheating, I know! But it felt like I was standing at the top of the world.”

As well as the wing walk, other bucket list challenges have seen Esther overcome her fears of helicopters by taking a ride in one, as well as parascending which saw her fly through the air with a parachute.

Esther was cheered on from the ground by her family, friends, fellow members of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Tangent Club of which she is a founding member, members of the 41 Club Gillingham Rotary Club of which she is an honorary member and members of the Friends of the Inner Wheel. 

Barbara Matthews, the secretary of the Gillingham and Shaftesbury Tangent Club, added: “Her amazing courage has inspired us all within our club and in this, our 50th charter year, we could not have had a better pinnacle to begin the celebrations.” 

Esther’s online fundraising page is still open and people can donate by visiting Esther’s wing walking fundraiser 

Esther with her friends, safely on the ground Picture: Janine Williams

The Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance receives no direct funding from the government or the National Lottery and rely on the generosity of the public for support. The operational costs are over £4 million a year and the approximate cost per mission is £3,000.

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