A flying penguin – all for charity

FUND-RAISING: Francesca Wheatley went across a 260-metre zip wire dressed as a penguin.

FUND-RAISING: Francesca Wheatley went across a 260-metre zip wire dressed as a penguin.

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A DARING young Rainbow leader and former cancer patient went to extreme lengths to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.

Francesca Wheatley (17), an East Lancashire senior section member and student at Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, represented Burnley at a huge Girlguiding event in Manchester, on June 16th.

FUNDRAISING: Francesca Wheatley, young Rainbow leader and senior section member for Burnley went across a 260 metre zip wire dressed as a penguin for charity

FUNDRAISING: Francesca Wheatley, young Rainbow leader and senior section member for Burnley went across a 260 metre zip wire dressed as a penguin for charity

Donning an impressive penguin costume, Francesca took part in the Up High zip wire challenge, which saw her travel 260 metres across the Manchester Ship Canal. The experience began at the Imperial War Museum and ended at The Lowry.

Francesca, who was raising money for CLIC Sargent, said: “I was so nervous to be doing the zip wire, and once I was up there, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it – it was so high. But I’m so glad I did.

“It was a good experience but I’m not sure I’m brave enough to do it again.

“I took on the challenge to raise money for CLIC Sargent. In 2010, I was really poorly with cancer, but they supported me to successful recover from the illness.

“It’s great to be able to raise money for them by taking on this challenge with guiding.”

Assistant Guide leader Christina Davy (22), adult leader with Burnley Division Carol Pike, and senior section leader in training Colette Sumpton, also took part in the zip wire challenge. Money was also raised for Pendleside Hospice, Emmaus Homeless Charity and Parkinsons UK.

Sue Lomas, chief commissioner for North West England said: “The zip wire challenge was certainly a bold one, but watching all of the young women put any nerves aside and take part was absolutely fantastic.

“Guiding puts girls in the lead and is a place where young women can spend time developing their confidence and trying things they might not otherwise have the opportunity to do.”

Up High was created by Girlguiding North West England and aimed to bring members from across the whole region together to get outdoors, meet new people and try something new. It was organised in the 25th anniversary of Rainbows.

Visit www.girlguidingnwe.org.uk or call 01772 823331 for more information.