Spinnaker abseil inspired by husband’s Parkinson’s battle

EXHILARATING Julia Salt abseiled down the Emirates Spinnaker in aid of Parkinson's disease research
EXHILARATING Julia Salt abseiled down the Emirates Spinnaker in aid of Parkinson's disease research
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A former headteacher from Fareham became the first woman to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower since the new Emirates rebranding – all in the name of charity.

Julia Salt, who was the head at Crofton Hammond Infants School in Stubbington for 10 years, was inspired by her husband David to complete the daunting challenge in aid of Parkinson’s disease research.

David has been my inspiration to do all I can to raise funds, as he’s battled the highs and lows of this condition for so many years, with resilience, persistence and a glorious sense of humour

Julia Salt

It was also a tremendous personal challenge for someone with a fear of heights.

However, she surprised herself at how much she enjoyed it.

She said: ‘It was non-stop excitement; I absolutely loved it. The view was phenomenal.

‘I couldn’t walk on the glass floor before but I felt completely secure in the harness.

‘You get taught step by step, you just have to persevere.’

The 65-year-old took the plunge earlier this month because David has suffered from the disease for 25 years and she wanted to raise money to fund more research.

David, 67, is a retired Doctor of Mathematics, lecturer and researcher at the University of Portsmouth.

He worked at the university for 38 years, completing world-renowned research.

He has had two deep brain stimulation operations, which is a relatively new treatment to help alleviate some of the effects of Parkinson’s, but with questionable success in his case.

‘David has been my inspiration to do all I can to raise funds, as he’s battled the highs and lows of this condition for so many years, with resilience, persistence and a glorious sense of humour,’ said Julia.

‘It’s a little-known disease and it takes 
a lot of money to be able to fund the research so I’m trying to raise as much as possible.’

She has so far raised £1,343.20 online, £140 offline, and there are also numerous full collection boxes around Stubbington and Hill Head yet to be counted.

So she is looking at raising a total of £2,000.

To support Julia, go to justgiving.com/Julia-Salt2/ and to find out more about Parkinson’s disease, visit parkinsons.org.uk.