‘Im just a ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing’

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A new community outreach film project is set to hit the streets of Havering.

Give-Get-Go is launching soon in the borough and will provide lots of amazing opportunities for local residents. The company’s first film is based on the real life story of Amanda Harrison, who the Enquirer had the opportunity to meet.

Amanda Harrison is an amazing woman and a total inspiration to the millions of women out there.

The 46 year old from Nottingham set off on Saturday lunch time from Biggin Hill airport, for a two month journey flying a tiger moth plane, yes you read that correctly, a 1942 tiger month plane solo to Darwin, Australia.

This week The Enquirer had the chance to meet up with Amanda as she packed her bags and set off on her incredible solo trip around the world.

“I’m a bit nervous and a bit hyper actually,” says Amanda a few hours before she embarks on her mission.

She clearly is very eager to set off and moves around on her seat in eager anticipation to hit the skies and start her incredible adventure in the shoes of fellow female aviator Amy Johnson.

“I’ve wanted to do this for a long while now and it has taken me fifteen years to get to this very point today. From reading about Amy Johnson to actually setting off on the same journey. She is my inspiration,” Amanda admits proudly smiling away.

“I’m honouring her on this trip, I’m not trying to break her record because I wouldn’t want to do that, but she is my huge inspiration. She didn’t have a lot of money either and not only was she a woman but she didn’t have the status behind her.

“Many women in those times achieved a lot but they were upper class, whereas Amy had to work for a living, plus she became the first female aeronautical engineer.”

Another factor close to Amanda’s heart is the fact that Amy Johnson also suffered with health issues and Amanda has just recently recovered from breast cancer.

“The last three years have been really terrible,” admits Amanda. “I was diagnosed with breast cancer and I thought that’s it, I’m going to my grave not even having attempted to do this journey. “

Having cancer gave Amanda that extra motivation to go out and do exactly what she had dreamt of doing.

“Since being cancer clear I have thrown everything at it, from my life savings to everything I have to do this. I was terrified of having breast cancer, that scared me incredibly, being up in the sky doesn’t scare me.”

Amanda is surrounded by inspirational women and credits her mother and cousin, Jo Drury the tennis player as the strong women behind her.

“I have inspirational women in my family and I don’t see my self as inspirational. I’m just an ordinary person doing an extraordinary thing,” she says smiling and quoting her favourite pilot.

“I hope I do inspire other women, not necessarily to fly around the world but to have the determination to do what they want to do and the most important message I can get out there to other women is please check yourselves.

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer because I learnt how to check myself, as I was too young to have a mammogram. checking myself regularly saved my life, so I really want to put this message across, its so important. Look at what happened to me and where I am now and what I’m doing.”

Amanda is a real life hero, her enthusiasm knows no bounds and her zest for life and being up in the skies is simply just amazing.

Her trip is estimated to take two months as she tackles many countries, oceans and mountains on route.

Tony Klinger, the man behind Give-Get-Go and many other amazing projects has written for The Enquirer this week about the community outreach project coming our way.

“Havering is a fantastic place. Our community outreach project, Give-Get -Go was born and is presently housed in Northampton but we cant wait to move it to Romford. I rapidly grew to love Romford and Havering.

“It has been a real pleasure to start working with the people of Romford since the day I was invited to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Romford Film Festival at which they presented my film The Man Who Got Carter and some of the films my late father made including Get Carter itself.

“I have encountered enthusiasm, energy and a willingness to work together and attract business and creativity to the area. Unusually the media of Romford also makes it clear that they want their hometown to succeed and be noticed.

“I feel that’s how it should be, if you’ve got something great to tell the world about then shout it out loud because otherwise no one will notice. The town positions itself to succeed by trumpeting it’s successes and we believe we can add to that.

“On the subject of success I had someone say to me last week how lucky I was to be able to get my films made, my plays in theatres and my books published. I told them that they could be just as lucky if they also worked seventy or eighty hour weeks for fifty years!
“Northampton unfortunatly has none of the above attributes. Despite the fact that in the last few years we produced films and other filmed projects, a play and a couple of books.

We received no help, no encouragement and no inducement to be in the area.
“Compare this to Romford and you can see why we are keen on the area. I am involved with The Essex Walk of Fame which will be based in Romford and their is lots of support for the idea.

“The Council saw the opportunity to bring a new attraction to the area, to help attract tourists, to build business, to create a new focus on the town. Costing nothing and producing results, its what this is about and Havering Council’s Leadership both political and commercial saw it as such instantly.

“We have had unswerving support from Havering’s outgoing Mayor Dilip Patel, always smiling, always pointing the way forward and a great ambassador for the area.

“It would be churlish not to mention the fact that the folks we deal with from the Opposition Parties also recognised The Walk of Fame’s attractions and supported it with enthusiasm, candour and helped make this happen.

“All of this has led me to the conclusion that we want to find a base local to this part of Essex and East London for our GGG and Give-Get-Go project .

“We have just launched the amazing Amanda Harrison on her epic Solo2Darwin flight from Biggin Hill to Darwin in Australia echoing the famed Amy Johnson journey.

“The difference about Amanda is that she typifies an indomitable spirit of someone who was told she would never amount to anything. She overcame dyslexia, teachers telling her she wasn’t good enough to stack supermarket shelves to eventually graduate university and become a commercial jet pilot.

“Then just as she planned to take the flight of a lifetime she was confronted by the death of her father and the simultaneous discovery of her own breast cancer, chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery only to prove everyone wrong because here she is, making the flight happen, She inspires us and is a great beacon of light for women everywhere, and especially for cancer sufferers who some days feel they’re in a dark tunnel. Amanda proves there is light.

“Give-Get-Go is unique because it believes people like Amanda need and deserve support, education and training. That means Give-Get-Go is an opportunity for and from the people who are normally marginalised, ignored or overlooked.

“The management is designed to be an echo chamber of this aim and that means there is a big chance for people to lead and participate creatively if they’re under 25 or over 55!”

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