September 24, 2010

UK: Great great grandmother freefalls at 90

LONDON, England / The Royal British Legion / Sports News / September 24, 2010

Joan Harding, from Colchester in Essex, yesterday marked her 90th birthday by tandem skydiving with the Red Devils. The event was part of the Legion's '90 Jump for 90' sky dive at Dunkeswell in Devon, an introductory event to mark The Royal British Legion's 90th Anniversary in 2011.

Mrs Harding said: "What an experience! I've always wanted to skydive and wish I hadn't waited until I was 90 to take part. I think I'll have to go again! I'd recommend skydiving to anyone whatever their age. The Red Devils really made it such a memorable day for me, letting me join in a formation with the red smoke canisters!"

Along with Joan, serving personnel from 17 Port & Maritime Regiment - Southampton, the RAC Training Regiment - Bovington and the Dorset based Rifles, along with 20 others have jumped to raise money for The Royal British Legion. The Legion is the UK's leading Service charity providing financial, social and emotional support to Service people past and present and their families.

Of the fundraising efforts Joan commented.
"My great grandson has recently returned from Afghanistan and on hearing his stories I feel honoured to be able to fundraise for his comrades. I will be delighted if my jump can go someway to helping even just one of the youngsters returning from Afghanistan."
Louise Ravula Community Fundraiser for The Royal British Legion said: "As the Legion reaches its 90th year, we've never been needed more. Recent conflicts mean that more and more we're supporting the Afghan generation of the Armed Forces and their families and we'll be there for them now and for the rest of their lives.

"The sky dive is a unique way to raise money and provide participants with an exhilarating challenge. Mrs Harding alone has raised £2,000 and the other jumpers hope to raise around £10,000. This money will go a significant way in enabling us to continue to deliver our important welfare work in 2011 and beyond."

© The Royal British Legion 2010