A GRANDFATHER has thrown his fear to one side after taking to the skies in a daring wingwalk to help disadvantaged children.

Joseph Jeyakumar has been a supporter of the Arobanam Children Fund (ACF) for many years and was sent on an adrenaline-fuelled ride on Wednesday afternoon in a bid to raise £8,000 for the charity.

The 68-year-old's stunt was organised to help bereaved and deprived children in Sri Lanka, particularly those struggling with the recent civil war.

Mr Jeyakumar, of Coppice Road, Woodley, was sent 500ft in the air, travelling at speeds of 135mph on a 1940s Boeing Stearman Biplane.

He said: "I can't believe I have done it. What an experience.

"Even though it was scary, I was very thrilled and excited. I want to thank all those kind hearted people who sponsored me so far. My fundraising page is still open for donations.

"The civil war has had devastating effects on Sri Lanka. The main objective of ACF is to provide long term rehabilitation for hundreds of children, who have lost one or both parents.

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"I had to cancel this fundraising event two years ago due to my back pain."

He says his family were not entirely sold on the idea, but the pride of helping hundreds of young people ultimately made it a worthwhile experience.

ACF was registered in the UK more than 20 years ago and has grown to be able to help more than 600 children from around 20 children.

"My family said it was not safe, but I managed to convince them and they have been very supportive.

"I had never done anything like this before. My daughter did a skydive for the same charity a number of years ago.

"Hundreds of children have already been sponsored this year by people fundraising through marathons and I knew I had to do something to play my part.

"Please donate whatever amount you wish and spread the word. Let's try to make a difference to our children's lives."

Visit: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/JosephJeyakumar to make a donation to his online fundraising page.