Charity Champions prepare for next challenge


Staff at Wimbledon based business will be joined by MP for skydive.


By Nick Bull, Genevieve Knevitt, Karina Hayward, Matt Bunn, Olly Roberton.

Charity champions will jump out of an aeroplane for Children In Need on October 31.

Staff at Wimbledon based Paul Strank Roofing and Labour MP for Mitcham and Morden, Siobhain McDonagh, will take the jump in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Ms McDonagh said: “Paul and his wife Irene are both exceptional people. They work very hard in their day jobs, and then carry on that good work in the community.”

She added: “I’m not one to shirk a challenge. I’ve only abseiled for charity before, so this one will be a bit different!”

Fiona Mactaggart, Slough MP, has already pledged £500.

The company’s owner, Paul Strank, has sponsored Children In Need since 1969 when his company opened but will not be doing the jump himself due to a broken foot.

A company employee said: “The staff here consider Paul a hero. That’s why we’re all willing to jump out of a plane.”

In conjunction with DanceAid, Mr Strank opened an academy for disadvantaged children in Merton’s Rutlish School last month.

The academy aims to encourage confidence in deprived children through music and socialising.

Mr Strank is now working with Merton Council to get a permanent shop for the academy.

Six more academies will open this year at different schools and Mr Strank will donate a Renault van to transport Dance Aid’s equipment between them.

The van will be officially handed over on October 25 at his firm’s premises.

When asked about his dedication to helping disadvantaged children, Mr Strank said: “I remember bad times and if I can help a child I will.”

The company say they are committed to the charity and believe all children should have a chance of a happy and productive childhood.

Mr Strank will be a judge at this year’s South London Press Our Heroes Award which he won in 2009.

In recognition of his continued commitment, he won a Merton Civic Award in 2008.

Mr Strank said: “There is a never a dull moment at Paul Strank. You name it, we’ve done it.”

To sponsor Siobhain McDonagh visit:

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