Zip-wire dare­dev­ils could be record break­ers

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Mike Ben­nett

DARE­DEV­ILS tak­ing part in a spon­sored zip-wire de­scent on Satur­day at Folkestone Race­course could make it the most suc­cess­ful KM Group-backed char­ity event ever.

More than 130 peo­ple have signed up to whizz down the zip wire from the fourth floor of the main stand to raise funds for the Pil­grims Hos­pices and chil­dren’s road safety char­ity the Kent Walk­ing Bus Project.

An ab­seil last year at Char­ter House in Ash­ford in aid of the Mary Webb Can­cer Ap­peal at­tracted 120 par­tic­i­pants and raised more than £18,000.

Si­mon Dolby, from the Kent Walk­ing Bus Project, is hop­ing ev­ery­one who has signed up shows up on Satur­day so this record can be bro­ken.

All the par­tic­i­pants have pledged to raise at least £75 in spon­sor­ship.

The zip wire will be fixed to the roof of the main stand, where the TV cam­eras are po­si­tioned on race days.

Par­tic­i­pants will zip down the 150yard wire to the race­course track.

In­victa Mo­tors, County Square shop­ping cen­tre in Ash­ford, and the Greenacre Sports Part­ner­ship are spon­sor­ing the event.

The Pil­grims Hos­pices will re­ceive 70 per cent of the funds raised, and the Kent Walk­ing Bus Project will re­ceive the rest.

The event is be­ing or­gan­ised by Avalon Ad­ven­tures, who ran the Char­ter House ab­seil.

For more in­for­ma­tion call Si­mon Dolby on 07989 164752 or visit www.ken­ton­­ity

MAR­GARET Kit­ney, 60, from Ash­ford, has spent the past 26 years rais­ing money for Pil­grims Hos­pices. Now, as they pre­pare to cel­e­brate a quar­ter of a cen­tury of com­mu­nity ser­vice, she is be­ing hailed as one of the vi­tal army of vol­un­teers that epit­o­mise the spirit of the char­ity. She started fund-rais­ing in 1981, be­fore the hospice in Can­ter­bury was built, by rais­ing cash at cof­fee morn­ings, sell­ing do­nated goods, Christ­mas cards and home-made bis­cuits and has never stopped. Soon her bis­cuit recipes be­came so pop­u­lar that peo­ple be­gan ask­ing for copies, so she came up with the idea of com­pil­ing a recipe book to sell, to raise yet more hospice cash. Ini­tially, Mar­garet had the pa­per­back recipe book pub­lished her­self and sold them for just 50p. Re­al­is­ing the po­ten­tial, the hospice had the recipe book pub­lished and man­aged to sell thou­sands, rais­ing just un­der £20,000 for the char­ity. She said: “They were recipes I had put to­gether or found and used and they be­came very pop­u­lar. Ev­ery­one was will­ing to pay 50p.” Mar­garet then com­piled a dessert book as a fol­low up to her bis­cuit book and, al­though the hospice stopped print­ing the books years ago, it still prints her recipes on the back of its cal­en­dar ev­ery year. Mar­garet, who lives in Mount­bat­ten Way, Brabourne Lees, Ash­ford, felt drawn to the hospice. She said: “You can be stand­ing here, fit and well, but you never know when you will need help. Over the years I have vis­ited friends at the hospice who have been ter­mi­nally ill, but not nec­es­sar­ily with can­cer, and I found the hospice very lov­ing and car­ing. It’s a very sup­port­ive place to be.” In ad­di­tion to com­pil­ing recipe books and or­gan­is­ing cof­fee morn­ings, Mar­garet spends time visit­ing peo­ple in their homes and in nurs­ing homes, sell­ing the hospice cards. “It is es­pe­cially valu­able to peo­ple who are house­bound, if they need a birth­day card and they can­not get out. We have a cup of tea and a chat. It bright­ens their morn­ing.” Fund-rais­ing co-or­di­na­tor Lind­say Goode, said: “Mar­garet is a true star and Pil­grims is grate­ful for her un­fal­ter­ing sup­port. Al­though she is

You can be stand­ing here, fit and well, but you never know when you will need help

re­spon­si­ble for many of us putting on a few ex­tra pounds over the years with her tasty recipes, she can be for­given. “The 25th year is an im­por­tant mile­stone for Pil­grims and I do hope other fund-rais­ers in the com­mu­nity will come for­ward and sup­port us.”

Any­one able to help should call Lind­say Goode on 01233 504102.

Pic­ture: Dave Downey pd1140521

Lind­say Goode (sec­ond from left), fund-rais­ing co-or­di­na­tor for the Pil­grims Hos­pices, with Tony Thompson, used car con­sul­tant at In­victa Mo­tors in Ash­ford, Emma San­ter, com­mer­cial man­ager at Folkestone Race­course, and Frances Burt, from County Square in Ash­ford, at Folkestone Race­course

Pic­ture Gary Browne pd1169550

Hospice fund-raiser Mar­garet Kit­ney

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