85 year old wing walks for charity

High-flying Joan Dampney has raised over £2,000 for charity after a wing walk on a biplane – at the age of 85.

The death-defying stunt raised funds for Autism Wessex, a charity that the plucky grandmother has worked for over many years.

Joan, who lives on the Parley Court Estate opposite Bournemouth Airport, said she was not scared at all.

The octogenarian took off from Compton Abbas airfield in Dorset then flew to a thousand feet and reached speeds of 100mph.

People are still able to donate at www.justgiving.com/Joan-Dampney.

Autism Wessex provides three main areas of support to those affected by autism; Portfield School for education, residential and respite care, Community Wessex for social care services and a free ‘Advocacy and Advice’ service.

Joan said: “It was very pleasant actually. It was much nicer seeing the countryside without having to look through glass.

“I wasn’t scared at all – I was strapped in and well looked after. I’d like to thank everyone who has donated money.

“I’ve been involved with Autism Wessex since it began in 1971 and have been a teacher at Portfield School in Parley and a deputy head and I’m still a Governor and director.”

Becky Chalk, Community and Events Fundraiser at Autism Wessex, said: “We are so grateful for Joan raising this money in such a spectacular way.

“Autism Wessex provides services to anyone who needs it; people with autism and associated difficulties, families and professionals.

“While there is no cure for autism, with the appropriate education, support or care and by making the world an easier place to understand, the impact of autism can be reduced and people with autism can be active citizens enjoying maximum independence and a good quality of life.”

Joan is now planning a fundraiser for when she reaches 90 – and wants to swim with sharks.