Gayle takes on ‘mad challenges’

Gayle Wharton, who is organising Mad 40 at 40. Photo courtesy of Phil Lockwood: Lusam Photography
Gayle Wharton, who is organising Mad 40 at 40. Photo courtesy of Phil Lockwood: Lusam Photography
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A mother-of-two is ‘going mad’ and taking on four challenges with the aim of raising £40,000 during her 40th year.

Turning 40 has given Gayle Wharton, who lives near Corby Glen, the motivation to challenge herself to a series of challenges. Gayle’s mother Valerie was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 40 and lost her battle with the disease when Gayle was just 15-years-old, which has given Gayle added impetus to raise as much money for charity as possible.

Mad Forty at 40 is the name of Gayle’s campaign, which aims to raise £40,000. During the year, she will complete a tandem skydive, run a half marathon, cycling 170 miles coast to coast and a sponsored headshave.

She will kick off the events with a Great Gatsby-themed charity ball, which will take place at Irnham Hall on Saturday, May 17.

Of the final challenge Gayle said: “I know that the physical challenges will be really tough, but shaving my head feels like the scariest one of all, given, as any woman knows, that your hair defines you in so many ways. But if it means people are kind enough to donate, then I’m willing to go for it!”

The funds raised will be shared between Breakthrough Breast Cancer; Bliss - the premature baby charity; Anna’s Hope - a charity which helps children and young people with brain tumours; and the Dementia Adventure Trust - which helps people with early onset dementia to live fulfilled lives.

Gayle said she was excited to launch the challenge with the Gatsby ball, which promises to be a special evening inspired by the decadence and glamour of the 1920s.

Gayle said: “Everyone loves a bit of glamour and so I wanted to put on night of vintage finery, fabulous food, great music and dancing the night away, with guests knowing that every penny raised is going to the four charities.”

As well as entertainment and a three-course meal, there will be an auction with lots including a bespoke art commission by Edward 

Tickets are still available priced at £75 each. For tickets or more information about the ball e-mail or visit