22nd Oct, 2017

Brave pair aiming to drop in to raise cash

Coventry Editorial 17th Apr, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THERE may be seven decades between them but pensioner Barbara Rawlings and schoolgirl Loretta Franks have something in common.

Both are taking part in tandem skydives this summer to raise money for Myton Hospice – becoming the oldest and youngest jumpers the charity has ever had.

Daredevil Barbara, from Tile Hill, is jumping for a second time at Hinton Airfield on July 26 on what will be her 86th birthday.

She is known as Supergran because of her adventurous nature which has seen her try her hand at tandem hand gliding on her 80th birthday before that first skydive three years later.

And last year the retired laboratory scientist celebrated turning 85 by riding on the back of a Harley Davison, and is already planning her next challenge.

“My sons think I’m mad and so does everybody else but when I was younger these opportunities just weren’t about.” she said.

“I don’t feel old and I never use my age as an excuse not to do something. If you want to do something you will do it, there is no such word as can’t.

“At my age I don’t need any presents for my birthday so people can donate to Myton instead and it saves spending money on a party!”

Loretta, who goes to Myton School, will be free-falling from over 15,000ft on May 25 – just two days after her 16th birthday and in between sitting her GCSE exams.

She said: “Last year I did a bungee jump off Middlesbrough Transport Bridge which was scary as you jump by yourself but at least this time I will be jumping with an instructor.

“It is nerve-wracking but it is for a good cause and I wanted to do something to raise money to support Myton as they looked after my Nan really well.”

To sign up to the jump on the same day as Barbara log onto mytonhospice.org.

– Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice is also running a sponsored skydive at at Peterborough Parachute Centre on Monday, May 25. To take part email jane.mcgaffney@zoes-place.org.uk or call 0247 6361675.

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