AN Oxfordshire pensioner is braving a wing walk to raise money for the Stroke Association’s awareness month – and has already smashed his fundraising target.

Adrian Bodimeade, from East Hanney, had a £1,000 target for the stunt next month – which involves sitting on the wing of a plane – but has hit double the money already.

The 69-year-old, who says he is less brave than he used to be when it comes to heights, will take on the challenge on May 5.

Mr Bodimeade was inspired to take on the challenge in memory of his father, who had a stroke in 2003 and passed away in 2013.

Adrian said: “Dad’s stroke was a really distressing time for the whole family My dad had a communication difficulty after his stroke called aphasia, and he never regained the ability to communicate again. With thanks to the Stroke Association and the incredible support from friends and family though, we were able to better understand how to support Dad.

“After my Dad’s stroke, I decided to volunteer for the Stroke Association to help other stroke survivors and their loved ones. I’m now an ambassador for the charity, and work closely with the local community to raise awareness of stroke. The charity does so much to raise awareness of this terrible condition.”

Mr Bodimeade’s wing walk takes place at Chiltern Park Aerodrome, Wallingford, and coincides with an awareness month called Make May Purple for Stroke.

The Stroke Association is encouraging everyone to wear purple and raise vital funds to show support to victims.

Mr Bodimeade added: “I was first given the idea by an 80-plus year old lady, who came around here looking for sponsorship. I thought ‘if she can do it, then I can!’

“It’s a byplane and there is a sort of chair on the top wing. They strap you in and off you go!”

Natalie Bettinson, the charity’s Regional Fundraising Manager, said: “As well as physical and emotional problems, strokes can rob people of their ability to speak, read and write.

“For many stroke survivors, getting their life back on track means overcoming life-changing disabilities and emotional trauma. But they can’t do this on their own. Every day people across the UK are regaining their independence with the support of the Stroke Association and others. We’re incredibly grateful to Adrian for taking on this brave challenge to help raise funds for people affected by stroke.”

There are more than 100,000 strokes a year in the UK and over a million people living with the effects of an attack.