Gran ready for spectacular birthday

THIS grandmother plans to celebrate her milestone birthday in a different way to most.As Shelagh Newman was the first baby born at Ipswich Hospital under the NHS 60 years ago, she wanted to do something extra special to celebrate the occasion and so has decided to fly across Ipswich Town's football stadium.

THIS grandmother plans to celebrate her milestone birthday in a different way to most.

As Shelagh Newman was the first baby born at Ipswich Hospital under the NHS 60 years ago, she wanted to do something extra special to celebrate the occasion and so has decided to fly across Ipswich Town's football stadium.

Mrs Newman, 59, will be among a number of participants on June 28 and 29, who plan to risk life and limb in a charity zip-slide.

The brave souls will start from the top tier of the Greene King stand, 200 feet above the pitch, and begin the 335-foot zip-slide in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice. They will reach speeds of up to 30 mph, before finally landing safely in the North Stand.

Everyone has to raise a minimum of £200 in sponsorship to take part.

Mrs Newman, who turns 60 on July 5, said: “I thought I would find an unusual way of celebrating it and I thought this was a good cause.

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“I was the first baby born under the NHS at Ipswich Hospital and because the NHS is 60 years old too, I though I should mark that.

“When I was born, my mother told me she didn't not know how to fill out any of the new forms.

So far Mrs Newman, who now lives in Mumford Road, West Bergholt, has raised £100 but is on target to reach the amount required. She added: “I have never done anything like this before but I am not nervous.

“Some of the family are coming to watch and we are going out for a meal in the evening.”

Those wanting to join in have just a few days to sign up and start fundraising.

Participants should be over 14-years-old and parental consent is needed if you are under 17. There is a minimum weight restriction of six stone or 38kg and maximum of 16 stone or 102kg. The registration fee is £30.

Services at the hospice include an in-patient unit, day care services, out patient clinic, a Hospice at Home service, family support team, complementary therapy and physiotherapy and occupational therapy.

For more information call the fundraising office on 01473 723600 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

Are you taking part in a different fundraising event? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk