Pride of Britain: The wing walking grandma who has raised thousands for Darlington hospice

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A volunteer has been nominated for a Pride of Britain award after raising £35,000 for the hospice she works at through activities like abseiling and wing-walking.

Nancy Spencer has volunteered at the St Teresa's Hospice in Darlington for 26 years arranging a number of fundraising events including charity nights, summer balls and coffee mornings.

She has gone one step further herself too, raising more money by challenging herself. She has completed sponsored bed pushes, abseiled and in May this year the 81-year-old strapped herself to the top of a plane for a wing walk, with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak among those to wish her good luck.

"We taxied down to all the spectators, just for me to wave and when he turned the plane back round and went to go up the runway and I thought 'what on earth am I doing up here?" she said.

"When we got up there the scenery was just amazing, out of this world. People said how long were you up there? I said ten, fifteen minutes. They said I bet it seemed longer. I said no it didn't. I was a bit disappointed actually when we were coming down!"

Nancy Spencer has raised thousands for St Teresa's Hospice. Credit: Handout

Her work is well-respected in the community, leading to her nomination for the Pride of Britain Fundraiser of the Year award for the Tyne Tees region.

"She's just the most incredible, selfless inspirational person I know," granddaughter and one of her nominators Lisa Woodhouse said. "The work she's done for St Teresa's Hospice over the last 26 years and the money she's raised is just phenomenal.

"Then at 81 years old to take on a wing walk is just above anything I could ever have imagined she'd have done."

Nancy Spencer has also tried abseiling in aid of St Teresa's Hospice. Credit: Handout

"We have a lot of supporters in our community, of which Nancy is one," fellow nominator, Nancy Myers from St Teresa's Hospice added. "They provide the money to help us provide the vital services for the patients.

"She's an inspiration. Nothing is too big a challenge for Nancy. She'll take on anything and she'll deliver. All the teams are just so inspired by her and she's so valued by our community here in Darlington."

Mrs Myers has been personally amazed by her nomination after many years of fundraising efforts.

"Shock. Absolute shock. I couldn't speak," she explained. "I'm just overwhelmed with everything."

The Pride of Britain awards ceremony will take place later this year.

What is Pride of Britain?

The Pride of Britain Awards celebrate the achievements of truly remarkable people who make our world a better place.

Nominated by the public, the winners are from all walks of life, of all ages, and from all over the country. Their achievements are awe-inspiring and a lesson to us all. They say they are ordinary people, but their acts are truly extraordinary.

Since the first Pride of Britain in 1999, royalty, prime ministers, and hundreds of leading figures from showbiz, sport, politics and the arts have all taken part.

Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the Awards attract an audience of around five million viewers every year in a primetime slot on ITV - making it the highest-rated awards show of its kind on British television.

The winner of the Fundraiser of the Year award for the ITV Tyne Tees region will be announced during the evening programme on Friday 15 September.

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