A PARAMEDIC who does “daft things” for charity decided the sky was the limit for her most recent fundraiser, to support a charity close to her heart.

Jennifer Todd completed a wing-walk – standing on the top wing of a Boeing Stearman biplane for 12 minutes as it soared high above the Cirencester countryside – for the County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity 2020 Pledge.

The 41-year-old, who isn’t a fan of flying, faced up to her fear and took the flight – which reached speeds of 140mph – knowing a few minutes of discomfort for her were incomparable to the challenge faced by cancer patients.

Mrs Todd will donate her sponsorship money to the Pledge, which aimed to get 2020 pledges to raise £1,000 to enhance patient care and wellbeing, particularly for a chemotherapy ward to help cancer patients.

Mrs Todd, who is based at the Emergency Services Quad in Barnard Castle, said: “I have done many daft things for charity including shaving my hair off in 2019. I was supposed to do this wing-walk last year but Covid stopped it.

“Out for the joint emergency services Christmas party I was chatting with one of the firefighters, Kurt, and he asked what I was going to do next as shaving my hair was pretty amazing so I had to do something bigger and better. My reply was "well the sky's the limit".

“He suggested a parachute jump but I have previously done that for charity.

“I jokingly suggested wing-walking but that planted a seed in my mind and that was it.

“I don't really like flying but I thought I need to challenge myself and putting myself in an uncomfortable position for a few minutes is nothing compared to what people undergoing cancer treatment face.”

She was inspired to help the charity by North East Ambulance Service colleague Gary Bevan and his wife Lisa, a health visitor.

Mrs Todd’s first son was born more than three months premature, and weighing only 1lb 12oz, which was a scary and worrying time but one the family got through with lots of support, including that of health visitor Mrs Bevan.

Then, 12 years later, she discovered she was pregnant with a second boy, on the same day Mr and Mrs Bevan lost their son Josh, 18, in a car crash.

She said: “Despite her own personal heartache Lisa was there for me and supported me through that second pregnancy.

“Two years ago Lisa was diagnosed with cancer and lost her hair through chemotherapy.

“I wanted to support her as she had supported me. Also I was turning 40 so though I should do something a little daft to mark it.

“So I signed up for Macmillan's Brave the Shave and raised over £2,000 by shaving my hair off.

“While Macmillan is a brilliant charity, I wanted to do something more local.

“Cancer affects so many people and with my job I come into contact with a lot of people so I decided to raise money for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust Charity 2020 pledge.”

Earlier this month Mrs Todd completed the wing-walk.

She said: “The wing-walk itself was an amazing experience once I'd got over my initial fear.

“And I'm hoping that raising some money for the new Chemo unit will help cancer patients have a more amazing experience of treatment, although I can do nothing to alleviate any of the fears they must be feeling.”