David is very much aware of the important work the charity does, as his stepson Reece Bowen suffers from Autism and has received some great support from them. With this in mind, he was looking to raise some vital funds and awareness for Autism West Midlands, but was lacking inspiration. This changed when he had a meeting with fellow fund raiser Tom Lackey. Tom - the 92 year old former SAS soldier and five times Guinness world record breaker - who has just received a "Pride of Britain" award, is a supporter of various charities, as well as a keen wing walker. This planted the seed for David.
Having set his focus on this daredevil feat, turning the idea of the wing walk into a reality happened very quickly. David hastily set about raising money, before heading off to Gloucestershire Airport in Staverton to make good his commitment to the charity.
David's wing walk, which saw him strapped to a second world war bi-plane doing speeds of 135MPH at 600 ft and doing a low level fly past along with a heart stopping 500ft near vertical dive, raised £2500.00 for the charity.
David said: 'Autism West Midlands is a very important charity for me personally; given all of the support they offer families like mine. Because of this I really wanted to raise some substantial funds for them even if it meant me taking part in quite a scary event. Tom Lackey was such an inspiration for me, and I knew if a 92 year old man could do a wing walk, so should a NatWest Private Clients Manager! To say it was a nerve-wracking experience would be a massive understatement, but I knew the outcome was so important.'
David added: 'When I was in the air it literally was breath taking, but such an incredible experience. I want to thank everybody who made the wing walk happen, but most importantly everyone who has donated money to support Autism West Midlands.'
Autism West Midlands are the leading provider of specialist autism care and support in the West Midlands. They work with people, of all ages, across the autism spectrum, their families and carers to empower them to create a better future. They also work alongside professionals at local, regional and national levels to raise autism awareness and help to develop high quality services based on real life experiences of people on the spectrum.