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Mayor of Havering takes on wing walk at Upminster’s Damyns Hall Aerodrome for charities

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:58 14 September 2017

Mayor of Havering Councillor Linda Van den Hende took on a wing walk for her three chosen charities.

Mayor of Havering Councillor Linda Van den Hende took on a wing walk for her three chosen charities.

Councillor Linda Van den Hende

With wind in her hair and feet strapped firmly down on top of a small plane, the mayor of Havering took to the skies for a wing walk to raise money for her chosen charities.

Councillor Linda Van den Hende knew she wanted to do something a bit different to support three worthy causes, so opted in for a wing walk at Damyns Hall Aerodrome, Aveley Road, Upminster, which took place on Tuesday.

She said: “I was nervous before I got on the plane, because I didn’t know what to expect and thought it was going to be really scary but once I got up there, it was exhilarating.

“The crew and pilot were very professional and I felt calmer once they gave me the safety briefing and strapped me in tightly.

“As soon as we got off the ground, all I could see were amazing views.”

The councillor was due to take on the challenge last Friday but due to poor weather conditions, it had to be cancelled.

Nevertheless, the barbecue that was arranged to take place after she completed the wing walk still went ahead, with a performance from the Rumford Morris Men and live music to keep the crowd entertained.

She said: “Even though they didn’t get to see me do it, everyone really enjoyed the day.

“I then invited a few people representing the charities I’m supporting to come down again to watch me actually go up, so the whole thing was kind of split into two parts.”

Councillor Van den Hende is spending her mayoral year supporting Hornchurch-based children’s charity First Step, Dementia UK and the Havering Volunteer Centre.

Chief executive of the volunteer centre Shelley Hart said: “The mayor has put us all to shame doing such a daring thing for a little charity like us and we’re blessed to have her in our corner.”

Around £700 was raised from the barbecue and the mayor completing her wing walk.

She said: “I’m going to try and raise as much money as I can for all of these good causes, during my time as mayor.”

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