Seventy-two-year-old daredevil, Doug Astle, from Lyminster, West Sussex, recently took on the challenge of a lifetime in tribute to his beloved wife, Linda Astle.
At the end of March, Doug was joined at the Spinnaker Tower by 45 other abseilers, all raising money for St Barnabas House – the hospice who cared for Linda towards the end of her life.
Linda and Doug met on a blind date in 1983 and Doug says that since that moment “the laugher never stopped.”
Life changed for the couple when in September 2016, Linda was diagnosed with cancer, aged 65. She sadly lost her battle on 11 December 2018, leaving behind Doug, their five daughters and four grandchildren.
Doug said: “When I saw on my Facebook feed that St Barnabas were organising an abseil on 24 March – my wife’s birthday – I thought to myself, it’s got to be done!
“Linda was a very brave woman and I wanted to pay tribute to that, as well as raise money for St Barnabas as the care she received from them was incredible.
Caption: Doug had over 50 family members and friends cheering him on
“The way I describe St Barnabas to people who have never been is that when you walk into the hospice for the first time, it’s like being wrapped in a big warm blanket. The staff and everyone there are amazing and couldn’t have looked after Linda any better.”
On the day of the abseil, Doug was joined at the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth by over 50 family members and friends who cheered and chanted as he successfully descended 320ft to the bottom.
Doug said: “It was an awesome experience. With the support of everyone I know I managed to raise £1,137 for St Barnabas and the sponsorship is still coming in.”
Doug’s JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/doug-astle
Sophie Henderson, Events Officer at St Barnabas House said: “We are so proud of everyone who took on the challenge and abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower. As a result of the group’s bravery, I’m thrilled to announce that we are on track to raise a combined total of £19,000 which is enough to pay for over a day of all care services provided by St Barnabas House.”
Inspired to take part in an adrenaline challenge for St Barnabas House? Visit www.stbh.org.uk/adrenaline or call the Events Team on 01903 706355.