Sky’s the limit for Lauren
Thursday 2nd January 2014 @ 14:52 by Nigel Skinner

Lauren Oldham

A Hyde bakery manager set herself a nerve-jangling challenge when she took part in a bungee ball ride to raise money for The Christie Hospital.

Lauren Oldham, 26, assistant manager at Greenhalgh’s in Clarendon Square shopping centre, said she had a lot of fun as a passenger aboard the high-bouncing ball.

Lauren, from Dukinfield,  has worked for Greenhalgh’s for the past five years and chose to support The Christie because she knows a number of people who have benefitted from its superb level of care.

Another good reason is that her mum, Lynda Roberts, has worked in the centre as a receptionist for a number of years.

Lauren, who raised £200 from her sponsored bungee ball ride, said: “The Christie is a marvellous cause and I’ve known quite a number of people who have had treatment for cancer there.

“Among them was my dad’s partner who passed away there almost two years ago.

“And I’ve been very moved by the stories my mum tells me about the patients she meets during the course of her work on reception.

“I raise funds for The Christie at every opportunity and I’ve done the ride in the bungee ball a few times now.

“The first two times I did it at a pub in Dukinfield. I raised £70 from the first one and then £200 from the second ride.

“Basically, the idea is for
people to sit inside a big ball which is suspended by elastic ropes from two tall gantries.

“They catapult you upwards, really high, like a sling-shot. Then you bounce up and down  and spin around until you stop.

“I did the latest bungee ball ride in the car park of a pub in Debdale Park in Manchester and there were loads of people doing it at the same time for The Christie, so there must have been many hundreds of pounds raised on the day.”

Lauren added: “I was sharing the ball with my partner, David Blackburn, who I’ve been with for the past five years.

“When it first flings you right up in the air it’s an amazing feeling but the horrible bit is coming back down again because the ball twists around and bounces at the same time.

“It turned my stomach a bit but I was alright in the end.

“It was a great experience and I’m delighted to say that I raised £200 for The Christie after I was sponsored by my family,
who were all there watching me do the bungee, and my colleagues and customers from  Greenhalgh’s who are always very keen to support charity events.”

Malcolm Angus, Clarendon Square Manager, said: “Lauren should be congratulated on her very brave efforts for The Christie and it is terrific to hear how well supported she was by her fellow staff members and also our loyal shoppers.

“Hyde has a very strong community and our shoppers are always willing to put their hands in their pocket and support a good cause.”

Lauren added: “Riding the bungee ball three times is the most daredevil thing I’ve done for charity but I’d do more if I got the chance.

“What I’d really love to have a go at is a skydive, so if anything like that is being arranged for The Christie I’d volunteer for it straight away.”

The Christie Hospital treats more than 40,000 patients a year, which is a quarter of all those in the country. The Christie charity raises money to fund pro-jects which are outside the scope of the NHS and last year raised more than £13 million with the help of people from across the North West and around the UK.

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