'Go for it' grannies raise £2,000 from charity plane jump

DAREDEVILS: Words for the Wounded charity joint founder Penny Deacon, third from right, with the  skydive  group

DAREDEVILS: Words for the Wounded charity joint founder Penny Deacon, third from right, with the skydive group

First published in by , Reporter

A GROUP of self-professed ‘go for it grannies’ raised thousands for an armed forces charity by jumping out of a plane.

Penny Deacon, 63, from West Bay, and friends Margaret Graham, Jan Speedie and Rob Percy took part in the skydive near Swindon.

The group raised more than £2,000 for ‘Words for the Wounded’ a charity Penny set up in 2012 with Margaret.

The charity helps in the rehabilitation of injured people from the armed forces.

Penny said: “Margaret and I normally run a writing competition as a fundraiser but this year we were inspired to do the skydive as an extra fundraising challenge to mark the centenary year of the First World War.

“Once you make a commitment like this you can’t back out, but we were all really looking forward to it and it’s something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

Penny, a retired teacher, said the group’s next fundraising challenge is to go white water rafting.

She added: “We are all in our 60s and you start to think there’s no reason not to. We are all fit so there’s nothing to stop us. We’re a bunch of go for it grannies, really.”

The skydive was equally ‘terrifying and fantastic’.

Penny said: “When you look out through the door at 10,000 feet, hanging over the edge, it is scary.

“Then you jump and it’s absolutely magical. I wasn’t prepared for how noisy it was going to be at first, but when we were freefalling there was this sudden silence and it was so peaceful.”

The group hope that the money will go towards helping veterans’ rehabilitation through creative work as well as through the physical support they are given.

This year, Words for the Wounded is supporting the Creative Arts Unit at Help for Heroes’ Tedworth House Recovery Centre, a centre which helps wounded service personnel gain independence and confidence.

For more information or to donate to the group, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/flyinghigh4

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