WHILE most couples mark their silver wedding with a meal or flowers, Sylvia and Michael Peel opted for something a bit different.
In fact, the couple are taking the plunge all over again – only this time it’s off the roof at the Stadium of Light.
The couple, from Washington, are taking part in a sponsored zip- wire challenge from the stadium to Leibherr’s factory on the other side of the Wear. The pair are aiming to raise funds for the SAFC Foundation and St Benedict’s Hospice.
As Sylvia explained, they have a very personal reason for taking part. Her brother Brian Jenkins was looked after in St Bendict’s shortly before his death at just 51.
“My brother was a patient in St Benedict’s Hospice a while ago and the care he and the whole family received was exceptional,” said Sylvia.
“Sadly, he was only in there for two days but we have been wanting to do something for them ever since.”
For two Sunderland fans, the chance to raise cash for St Benedict’s and the SAFC Foundation was too good to miss.
“We have never done anything like this before, “ said Sylvia, 47. “Michael has been saying for years that we should do something for charity, so when this came along, we thought, ‘It’s our silver wedding, so why not?’
“It’s a great way to celebrate our anniversary. As lifelong Sunderland supporters, it’s great to able to support the work of the SAFC Foundation too. We wouldn’t have done anything like this in our 20s – the older we get, the more daring we become.”
The couple, who are Sunderland AFC season ticket holders, will have been married for 25 years on April 18, just three days before the zip-wire challenge.
Even 48-year-old Michael’s workmates at Debenhams in the MetroCentre are sponsoring him, despite the fact they are all Newcastle United supporters,
Sylvia Stoneham, fund-raiser for St Benedict’s Hospice, added: “I’m delighted Sylvia and Michael are celebrating their special anniversary in this unique way. I know they’ll have an amazing experience and an anniversary to truly remember, whilst helping their favourite charities to continue the excellent work we both do in our local communities.”
Anyone who would like to support Sylvia and Michael can sponsor them on justgiving.com/michael-peel1
All places have now been taken for the event, thought organisers are hoping to free up extra slots. Contact St Benedict’s Hospice on 569 9194 or SAFC Foundation on 551 5191