Successful Dublin-born UK businessman Eddie Collins, who is 82, is set to reachc new heights for the Irish-based international charity, GOAL
The octogenarian will follow in the footsteps of Hollywood stuntmen by by completing an exhilarating Wing Walk on the wings of a biplane to raise funds for the aid agency.
The businessman, who is now retired after he sold his successful business C-KO International in February 2020, will walk along the wings of a Super Stearman Biplane while it is in flight in Gloucestershire on 3 June.
Eddie is a dedicated corporate supporter of GOAL. He was inspired to do a breath-taking Wing Walk following a call from GOAL CEO, Siobhan Walsh, after C-K0 donated to Goal Zimbabwe to build a waterhole for a rural community.
Eddie says: “On a recent visit to Cirencester airfield, I encountered Wing Walking for the first time and decided I just had to add this to my bucket list. And what a fantastic way to raise money for charity at the same time. I would no more consider strapping myself to the wings of an aircraft and ‘reaching for the sky’ without the comfort and confidence of knowing that the money raised will go to such a worthy cause.”
Through a family connection Eddie had heard about GOAL’s work in Zimbabwe and became aware in 2019 that a community centre in Mbare, a high-density suburb in Harare, was struggling with access to safe, clean water.
The community centre supports 800 vulnerable people, including young children, widows, adolescents, mothers looking after children with disabilities, and people who are HIV positive.
Eddie said: “I learned that the community struggled to access clean water for drinking and cooking. As in so many parts countries in which GOAL works water sources are often contaminated, carrying diseases such as Cholera and Typhoid. This can be fatal to those living in desperate poverty”.
Whereas before the centre, which provides vital supports including HIV care and prevention, skills training and psychological services often had to close, cancel services, and send people home because water was not available.
Now there are plumbed toilets and clean treated water, meaning those using the centre don’t have to face dangerous walks to reach the closest water source.
As well as supporting over 800 beneficiaries, the fresh water supply is serving thousands of people in the Mbare, with community members going to the centre to fetch drinking water using 5-litre bottles.
Eddie said: “When Covid-19 kicked in I had a good think as to how I could help raise the profile of GOAL in the UK. I always had a fascination with Biplanes and did a flight on a Spitfire a few years ago, something I found to be an amazing and emotional experience. I read an article in a newspaper on Wing Walking, and I thought this was the perfect challenge for me.
“I am doing the Wing Walk for Goal because of the inspiring work they are doing in 14 countries around the world, changing the lives of millions of vulnerable people. GOAL is an amazing charity founded over 40 years ago in Ireland. Last year it reached more than 17 million people with support in the areas of nutrition, health, emergency response and livelihoods in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.”
Eddie will embark on his challenge with an aircraft flown by a highly experienced wing walking display pilot.
He will take to the skies safely strapped onto the top wing to experience an exciting series of flypasts, zoom climbs, and steep dives in front of the family and friends at speeds of up to 130mph.
GOAL Fundraising Director Eamon Sharkey said: “Without dedicated supporters like Eddie GOAL would not be able to support the millions of vulnerable communities around the world we reach each year. He already has impacted on a community in Zimbabwe with his work, and through funds raised from this challenge we will be able to support many more people.”
Eddie will do his Wing Walk at the RFD Rendcomb Aifrield in Cirencester, Gloucestershire on 3 June 2021. He has already raised £2,300+ of his £5,000 target.
You can get more information and donate by clicking here.