A WOMAN is hoping to overcome her lifelong fear of heights in a bid to raise money for the hospice which cared for her mother during the final days of her life.

Claire Carter, from Sacriston, near Durham, is doing a skydive in memory of her mother and grandmother, who both died at St Cuthbert’s Hospice.

She said: “They (the hospice) are amazing. I don’t think I could ever repay the debt I owe them.

“I’m terrified of heights. I’ve never even been in an aeroplane because I’m that afraid.

“I’m petrified about this but I want to face my fear and do something for mam and grandma. They were scared when they were dying so I thought why can’t I do something I’m scared of to try and repay that debt.”

She said the hospice went above and beyond, particularly when looking after her mother, June Carter, in 2014.

Staff at the hospice arranged a wedding for Mrs Carter to allow her to marry her long-term partner Jim in the final days of her life.

Mrs Carter, who had breast cancer, was 60 when she died less than a week after the emotional ceremony at the hospice.

The 32-year-old first became aware of St Cuthbert’s, which is based in Durham, when her grandmother Audrey Hockaday was ill in 2013.

The mum-of-two said: “Without my grandma we wouldn’t have known about the charity. I just wish more people knew about it. Some families struggle though it by themselves but they should be able to go to St Cuthbert’s.

“My mam had a massive impact on the hospice and she made so many friends. She had a unique laugh - everyone up there still remembers it.

“Without the hospice I don’t think I would have coped as well as I did. I can’t thank them enough. The help and support they gave us was incredible.”

She has previously raised more than £4,500 for the charity, through taking part in many of the hospice’s events as well as arranging her own 24-hour darts marathon.

The hospice is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is hoping to get 30 supporters to take part in the sky dive in Peterlee on June 30.

Helen Smurthwaite, community and events fundraiser, said: “To celebrate our 30th anniversary we are searching for 30 daredevils to defy the sky and take on the big jump on 30th June.The professional skydiver does all the work and you just hang on for the ride of your life.The places are filling fast, people seem to recognise the incredible opportunity it is to combine potentially the most exciting and exhilarating moment of their life with raising funds for a much loved local charity.”

  • Anyone interested in signing up to take part should contact the hospice by calling 0191 386 1170 ext. 5