Hartlepool hospice chief plans to scale mountains and walk through fire

Ray Priestman, chair of trustees of Alice House Hospice, who is aiming to raise �5,000 for the hospice for his 60th birthday in 2019.
Ray Priestman, chair of trustees of Alice House Hospice, who is aiming to raise �5,000 for the hospice for his 60th birthday in 2019.

Hospice chief Ray Priestman aims to be taken out of his comfort zone as he sets out on a year of fundraising for the organisation he has been part of for almost 20 years.

Ray, who is the chair of trustees for Alice House Hospice, in Hartlepool, is due to take part in fire walks, skydiving, sleeping rough and scaling mountains as he prepares to turn 60 this year.

Ray Priestman did the Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew as part of his efforts to raise �5,000 for Alice House Hospice.

Ray Priestman did the Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew as part of his efforts to raise �5,000 for Alice House Hospice.

He is hoping to raise at least £5,000 for the hospice which will help to provide first class care for people with life-limiting conditions.

Ray has set up a crowdfunding webpage for donations.

He said on the page: “As I am fast approaching old age and in my 60th year, I have decided to undertake a series of challenges before my 60th Birthday in October, to try and raise £5,000 for Alice House Hospice; a charity close to my heart and one I have been involved in for coming up 20 years.

“The challenges I have selected will be spread over the year, some will be testing physically, some testing mentally, some will take me out of my comfort zone and some will be right in my comfort zone.

“I have tried to make the challenges varied and hopefully you will be able to laugh along with me as I undertake these tests.

“My aim is to update this page with pictures as I complete each challenge and I hope you will join me on my journey and support me by pledging a donation to Alice House Hospice to help me reach my target.”

Last month Ray took part in Hartlepool’s Boxing Day Dip at Seaton Carew.

His other challenges include the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge; sleeping rough for a night, going down the longest and fastest zip wire in Europe at Penrhyn Slate Quarry, riding the UK’s highest roller coaster in the UK, and driving a racing car at Silverstone.

Other tasks include running this year’s Great North Run half marathon, dancing in the Tower Ballroom Blackpool, giving up alcohol for a month and volunteering for a day at the hospice in Wells Avenue.

Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall said: “Ray has inspired me for over 10 years through his loyalty and commitment to the hospice.

“I’m not surprised at some of these challenges as Ray is always fun to be around.

“The Three Peaks will be no problem but giving up alcohol will be!” People can support him at Ray’s Office Desk to £5K Challenge page at https://bit.ly/2VsPNxY