Is this the most courageous 89-year-old? Care home resident skydives for charity

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A care home resident from Basingstoke has raised funds for a charity in the most unexpected way.

89-year-old Dennis Moulton, a resident in Care UK’s Dashwood Manor, on Bradley Way, took to the skies on 25th April and jumped out of a plane at 15,000 feet.

Dennis is raising funds in aid of the end-of-life charity Marie Curie, which provides highly skilled nursing care to people with terminal illness in its hospices and people’s own homes across the UK. Its support line team also offer practical information and support when patients and their families most need it. 

When Dashwood Manor first opened in September 2021, the team installed a ‘Wishing Tree’, an initiative launched by Care UK which allows residents to suggest ideas for new hobbies they’d like to try, places they’d like to visit or even activities linked to past careers. This encourages residents to live fulfilling lives – from skiing to a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

Dennis wasted no time thinking about a ‘descent’ wish and quickly put on the wishing tree his lifelong dream, to skydive. 

The team set to work planning the exciting wish, and soon Regional Directors at Care UK, Eileen Coyle-Jones and Angi Knight, as well as Customer Relations Manager at Dashwood Manor Leahanne Wilkinson, had decided to support Dennis in the ultimate way – by jumping out the plane right next to him. 

They had originally planned the skydive on 25th March. The team arrived early and were minutes away from jumping when, despite his best efforts, Dennis struggled to lift his legs up to the height needed for the landing. 

Although the skydive couldn’t go ahead as planned, Dennis was not defeated, and he visited Dashwood Manor’s in-house physiotherapist twice a week, while doing his own exercises every day, to ensure he was strong enough to fulfil his dream. After being given the ok to go ahead, the new date was set for just one month later. 

When the date came, they arrived at GoSkyDive once again, and soon had all their gear on ready to go. 

Dennis said: “It was splendid. I felt like my hard work paid off. The feeling of free falling was just amazing, and I was just trying to take it all in. It was better than I ever expected. 

“Age is only a number. You can do anything if you are determined.”

Dennis has raised £2,493 for Marie Curie, but the total is still increasing and will also be matched by Care UK’s match funding initiative.

Dil Perera, Home Manager at Dashwood Manor, said: “We were thrilled to have helped Dennis complete his lifelong wish to skydive while also raising vital funds for a very deserving charity.

“All the team and residents have been looking forward to the big day and it was wonderful to see the smile on Dennis’s face as he landed on the ground. I would like to thank the team for helping to organise the wish for Dennis and especially to Leahanne, Eileen and Angi who jumped out of the plane by his side. 

“We have raised £2,493 for Marie Curie but the page is still open for donations. We would love to surpass the target Dennis set of £3,000, with support from Care UK’s match funding initiative and other donations we believe we can. We cannot wait to organise the next wish – who knows what it could be, the sky is the limit!” 

 

Age is only a number. You can do anything if you are determined.

Dennis Moulton, 89, a resident inCare UK's Dashwood Manor

Michelle Martin, Fundraising Director at Marie Curie said: “Thank goodness for Dennis. This is the story we all need right now! On behalf of the whole charity, I want to say a huge thank you to Dennis. 

“The money he has raised will help us care for people affected by terminal illness all over the UK and I suspect that when people see his amazing achievement he’ll smash his fundraising target. I know Dennis will inspire so many people out there who will, just like Dennis, reach new heights with their fundraising.” 

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, the new care home, which opened in September 2021, incorporates space for hobby and leisure activities. Luxury facilities includes a café, hair and beauty salon, cinema and bar, and stunning gardens.

To donate to Dennis’s Just Giving page, please visit: justgiving.com/DashwoodManor.

To find out more about Dashwood Manor, please call Customer Relations Manager, Leahanne Wilkinson, on 01256 805988, or email leahanne.wilkinson@careuk.com.

For more information about Dashwood Manor, visit: careuk.com/Dashwood-Manor.

Dennis' skydive wish
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Open to new residents

Bradley Way, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG23 7GF

Dashwood Manor

Dashwood Manor

CQC Rating: The CQC have not inspected this service yet
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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