King's Lynn 100-year-old set to become oldest person in the world to take on wing-walk challenge
A Lynn woman is preparing to reach for the skies by becoming the world's oldest person to do a wing-walk – after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Residents and staff marked Joan Phillips' special day at the Goodwins Hall care home today.
But she's not planning to keep her feet on the ground and is looking forward to stepping out on top of a Boeing Stearman Biplane next month.
Joan will be taking on the challenge in Gloucestershire on Friday, October 18 after completing an indoor skydive in Milton Keynes last year.
She will be raising funds for Cancer Research UK, a charity which is important to her after her father died of cancer. The disease also affected her mother and she previously had colon cancer herself.
Joan, who has been described as "inspirational" to all the staff and residents at the care home. told the Lynn News she was looking forward to doing the wing-walk.
"I am not going to say I won't be nervous at all, but once I get up there you can perform a bit, and I hope to be satisfactory with it," she said.
"I keep myself fit which is the main thing and I exercise every morning.
"I had a very old grandmother who got to 100 plus so it's in the genes a bit. When I look at all the cards I do not feel 100."
Balloons and cards were set up in the foyer of the care home, and all the residents and staff cheered before bursting into a rendition of 'Happy Birthday to you' when Joan arrived.
One staff member joked "Where is the 100-year-old?" when she came into the foyer.
Lynda Barber, lifestyle coordinator at the care home, said Mrs Phillips is taken for two walks in the garden every day in addition to her regular exercises.
"She is a very sprightly lady and you would think she is about 70 rather than 100," Mrs Barber said.
"All our elderly ladies and gentlemen are not surprised Joan is doing the wing-walk as that's just what Joan does. She is one of those ladies that if she says she will take something on, then she will."
A fundraising page has been set up for the wing-walk challenge with a target of £1,000 being set for Cancer Research UK.
Over £300 has been raised so far by 10 supporters, and the page can be found at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joanphillips100.
Joan, who was born in Bedfordshire, worked as a secretary in the motor trade industry, and has now lived at Goodwins Hall for four years.
"This is very much my life now and they [Goodwins Hall staff] keep me fit and well here," she said.
"It has taken me about six months to get used to it but I am very happy here now."
Describing herself as a "bit of a toughie", Joan said she had very good parents and her mother would "put her right" if she was doing something wrong.
The Stearman Biplane, which Joan will walk on, was originally used as a military trainer aircraft and is now associated with stunt flying.