THRILL-seeking Andrea Brydon was planning to mark her 40th birthday with the ultimate adrenaline rush – wing-walking – when the Covid pandemic struck.
Andrea, from Evesham, was preparing to strap herself to a biplane for an exhilarating aerial experience to raise funds for her favourite charity Support Dogs at RAF Rencombe in Cirencester.
But because of lockdown and its restrictions Andrea had to postpone the birthday thrill for a whole year – and it will now take place to mark her 41st birthday on June 2.
“It was going to be doing something fabulous for 40, but Covid put a stop to that!” says Andrea. “I’m very much looking forward to the wing walk now; it’s going to be my first big outing for several months and I am beginning to count down the weeks.”
Andrea is a big dog-lover and over the past 12 months has already raised £800 for her chosen charity Support Dogs, a national assistance dog charity.
Despite her initial nerves, Andrea, who works in the customer service team of Robert Welch Designs Ltd, is steeling herself to the prosect of being strapped to the top of a biplane while the pilot completes a series of aerial stunts.
Andrea, pictured with her rescue whippet Quinn, says that as dogs have always been part of her life, Support Dogs was an easy choice when choosing which charity to raise money for.
“The past year has been difficult, but it would have been so much harder without our special little dog Quinn,” she adds. “Quinn has had his little legs walked off him as we have explored new paths and walked further than I think we have done before. He has continued to be such a happy and entertaining little dog and has proved to me that every dog is a support dog in their own way!
Support Dogs provide and train assistance dogs for people with autism, epilepsy and physical disability, enabling them to lead safer, more independent lives. It relies entirely on the generosity of the public to fund its training programmes and has a long waiting list.
Andrea adds: “Dogs have a natural ability to calm you and make you laugh and smile no matter how horrible a day you have, and working dogs are the most special, whether they are specially trained police dogs, medical dogs or assistance dogs.
“Support Dogs do amazing work and transform people’s lives though their wonderful dogs. I know I have found the year difficult, but I can’t begin to imagine how hard it’s been for the people that Support Dogs work with.”