Frightened fundraisers face fears of snakes and spiders for charity

Frightened fundraisers face fears of snakes and spiders for charity

FEAR NOT: Ian Tite, of Crazy Creatures, introduces his boa constrictor to, from left, Stacey Woods, Kirsty Stanley, Jay Sawdy and Orianne Derrier

CAN YOU HANDLE IT? Kirsty Stanley holds a tarantula

First published in News by

HARRY Potter fans were inspired by the famous character’s bravery to face their own fears on Sunday.

Members of Phoenix Rising – a chapter of The Harry Potter Alliance – held spiders and snakes to raise funds for charity at Wild World Reptiles in Moordown.

The group, formed last year by Kirsty Stanley, have already started to complete a number of tasks for good causes, including volunteering at a soup kitchen and collecting second-hand books for hospitals.

Kirsty, of Poole, admitted feeling more than a little bit nervous. “I have a proper phobia of spiders – it’s a bit of an issue for me.

“I am really terrified of them, so I was incredibly nervous.”

The team of four, two of which are afraid of spiders and two are afraid of snakes, are hoping to raise more than £500 for facing their fears.

Miss Stanley said: “There were a few tears and there’s always that anticipation which makes it worse but we all did it.”

The Harry Potter Alliance is a charity group formed in America.

Members of its chapters take part in fan activism, and Phoenix Rising has big plans for the future, including the creation of an ‘eAnthology’ of short stories and poems to raise funds for Bournemouth food bank Hope for Food.

Kirsty, 35, said: “I first started the group after visiting LeakyCon in London last year.

“It’s the one place I felt instantly at home at, and that’s when I decided to start the chapter.”

The group’s brave members raised funds for four charities with their spine-chilling challenge – Forest Holme Hospice, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Victoria Cross Trust.

For more information, or to join, visit

To sponsor the group go to

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