By Charles Wade-Palmer
A widowed grandmother has become an adrenaline junkie late into in her retirement.
Since her husband’s death nine years ago daredevil Trish Wagstaff, 85, has thrown herself into extreme challenges head first from wing walking to skydiving.
Bake sales and tombola has never been on the agenda for keen fundraiser Trish who has raised thousands for charities by annually embarking on mad stunts deep into her retirement.
Trish said: “I just like to raise money for charities and have fun doing it. My next challenge is a catapulted paraglide in August which will be my ninth year of doing challenges since my husband died.
“I decided on what to do this year after browsing the internet. It is going to be quite different to the paragliding I’ve done before where you run first so I’m excited to see what it’s like.
“I’ll be strapped to an RAF chap who I’ll be catapulted into the air with but I can relax in the knowledge that it will not be from a cannon.
Fighting fit Trish from Appleton, Oxfordshire was widowed in 2008 when husband Peter Wagstaff who was former major in the Royal Scots died of Cancer.
Trish said that Peter’s fear of heights was the inspiration behind taking her pulse-raising experiences to the sky.
Trish said: “When I lost my husband it was pretty grim and being on my own for the first time after 56 years I thought I ought to do something.
“I’ve always helped raise money for charity but my husband hated heights and I don’t think he could’ve watched me do this so I thought what could be better?
“There’s nothing like being up there. I love the views from the sky looking down across the beautiful Chilterns countryside.”
Even at 85, mother-of-two Trish has shown no sign of slowing down and walks miles every day to bring in sponsorship ahead of her catapulted paragliding on August 29.
Trish said: “I go out every afternoon to get sponsored and I must still walk about four miles every evening.”
Trish is collection for Alzheimer’s Society on her eighth annual challenge which has previously taken her scuba diving, zip-lining and climbing up the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.
Trish has previously jumped out of a parachute, swum with sharks, walked along Europe’s longest zip-wire, paraglided, tower climbed, zip-lined, wing-walking.
Last year alone the veteran adrenaline junkie raised more than £22,000 for her wing-walking stunt for Cancer Research UK.
She said: “It is shocking just how many people are affected by dementia, it is a charity which really needs the help.”
In recognition of her incredible charity work Trish was honoured in 2012 with a British Empire Medal for her services to charity.