Conquering fears for charity

IF spiders, heights and water constitute your worst fears - you probably wouldn't take on a fundraising challenge that involves white-water rafting, bungee jumping and getting intimate with a big hairy spider.

IF spiders, heights and water constitute your worst fears - you probably wouldn't take on a fundraising challenge that involves white-water rafting, bungee jumping and getting intimate with a big hairy spider.

Unless that is, you are as committed as Jane Holliday, 54, who last night completed her Three Fears Challenge for the Bury-based St Nicholas Hospice when she handled an enormous Chilean Rose Tarantula.

The mother of two from Larkfield in Hawstead, who hopes to raise thousands for the charity, said her knees buckle when she stands on a kitchen stool or even thinks about a spider.

“It has been a terrifying ordeal but I was determined to push myself to the limits to raise money. I knew when the credit crunch hit that it would be a tough time for the hospice so this seemed as good a time as any to conquer my fears,” she said.


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The nerve-shredding effort began on Valentines Day when she was winched to the top of a crane at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club before plummeting to the earth and seconds later soaring into the sky on a large elastic band.

She said: “That was bad enough but white-water rafting at the National Sports Centre in Nottingham with a wet suit four sizes too big and full of water was terrifying. We did four runs and each time the water level and grading was increased so it just got worse and worse.”

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It was Mrs Holliday's childhood spent in the Belgian Congo, while her father was the British military attach� in the African nation, that cemented her terror of spiders.

“I'm really just a big wuss and all this stuff horrifies me but with all the support of friends and family I've managed to get through it,” she added.

If you want to add to the fund raising tally to support St Nicholas Hospice call 01284 747610 or go to www.stnicholashospice.org.uk.

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