Steyning man to skydive 15,000ft for his 81st birthday in memory of mother-in-law

A Steyning man will be celebrating his 81st birthday with a 15,000ft skydive to raise funds for the hospice that cared for his mother-in-law at the end of her life.

Tuesday, 29th June 2021, 11:03 am

Ray Shaw – who also abseiled 100 metres down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth to mark his 80th birthday last year – will take on the challenge on Sunday, August 15, for St Barnabas House.

He will be doing it in memory of his wife Sue’s mother, Heather, who received the devastating news that she had terminal cancer the day before her husband’s funeral in 2016.

Sue said: “Mum’s health declined quite quickly, but she was determined to stay at home and was extremely reluctant to receive hospice care.

Ray Shaw from Steyning is set to take on a 15,000ft skydive to mark in 81st birthday in memory of his mother-in-law who received end of life care at St Barnabas House hospice. He is pictured during his abseil last year which marked his 80th birthday SUS-210629-103103001

“Ray and I were caring for her, but it became very difficult for us to do it on our own.

“Eventually she reluctantly agreed to visit St Barnabas, and as soon as we got there, it just transformed us all. St Barnabas took on the care my mother needed and that meant that I didn’t have to be a carer anymore, I could be her daughter again. I had my mum back, and that’s a gift that I’ll never be able to repay.”

Since Heather’s passing in 2017, Ray and Sue have held many fundraising events to raise money for St Barnabas House.

Sue said: “I often hold tea parties and bike rides to raise funds, but Ray likes the more adventurous things.

“We couldn’t throw a party last year due to Covid-19, and we can’t again this year, so Ray wanted to celebrate by taking on an adventure of a lifetime!”

You can visit Ray’s JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ray-shaw1, or to take on a charity skydive for St Barnabas House, visit www.stbh.org.uk/skydive