Gayle goes mad at 40 to raise money for four charities

Gayle Wharton is holding a Great Gatsby-style event for charity at Irnham Hall. Photo: Phil Lockwood.
Gayle Wharton is holding a Great Gatsby-style event for charity at Irnham Hall. Photo: Phil Lockwood.
Have your say

For mum of two Gayle Wharton, of Little Humby, turning forty is about going a bit mad in order to try and raise as much money for charity as possible.

Her own mother, Valerie, was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 40, and tragically lost her battle with the disease when Gayle was just 15 years old. As a result, turning 40 has given Gayle the inspiration to raise as much as she can this year for Breakthrough Breast Cancer as well as three other charities close to many people’s hearts: Bliss, the premature baby charity; Anna’s Hope, a Stamford-based charity supporting families of children with brain tumours, and the Dementia Adventure Trust, which helps people with early dementia to live fulfilled lives.

“MadFortyat40” is Gayle’s 2014 charity campaign aimed at raising £40,000, for four charities, by challenging herself to complete four suitably mad events, plus coordinating a ‘Great Gatsby’-themed Charity Ball on Saturday May 17, in order to send the whole campaign off with a bang!

Gayle’s “MadFortyat40” challenge events are: a tandem skydive. running a half-marathon, cycling 170 miles coast to coast and a sponsored head shave.

Of the final challenge Gayle says, “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!”

Gayle’s ‘Great Gatsby’ Charity Ball will take place against the beautiful backdrop of Irnham Hall, a private Lincolnshire stately home, on Saturday, May 17, and promises to be a very 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 a night of vintage finery, fabulous food, great music & dancing the night away, with guests knowing that every penny raised is going to the four charities.”

As well as entertainment from Grantham’s Chantry Dance Company, the evening will also offer guests an exciting opportunity to bid at auction for a range of lots, including a bespoke art commission by one of Lincolnshire’s most talented young artists, Edward Waite.

A few tickets are still available priced at £75 per person with all proceeds to be split equally between the MadFortyat40 charities. For more information about the ball or to support Gayle’s campaign email or go to