Norwich Age UK champion fulfils blessing to skydive
Before he died last November, the Norfolk Christian journalist and former President of Norwich FGB Mike Wiltshire gave his wife, Lois, his blessing to fulfil her dream to skydive. On Saturday Lois Wiltshire took the plunge in aid of Age UK Norwich. Jenny Seal reports.
On Saturday, June 15 Lois Wiltshire jumped out of a plane at an altitude of 13,000ft to achieve her dream of skydiving in aid of Age UK Norwich.
Lois, who is in her 60s, lives in Bowthorpe and is on the Church Council of Bowthorpe Church where she leads The Oaks Friday Friendship Group for those with dementia and their carers.
Skydiving has long been a dream for Lois. However her husband, Mike, a journalist who wrote for local and national Christian publications as well as the Financial Times for over 20 years, and who was a key figure in Operation Mobilisation and more recently East Anglia Friends of Israel, struggled with heart problems for many years. Lois was his main carer and Mike was reticent for her to do it.
Lois said: “When Mike was in hospital for the last time, he told me to do all the things I wanted to do but hadn’t done because of caring for him”.
Early this year, Lois found out that Age UK Norwich was recruiting volunteers to do a sponsored skydive for the charity. Lois, an Age UK Norwich Volunteer for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said: “I saw this as my opportunity to fulfil my wish - and Mike’s for me”.
On Saturday, taking off from the Beccles Skydive Centre, Lois finally took the plunge. She said: “I was very excited. I did not go up in the plane straight away so had the opportunity to watch other skydivers land. The scariest part was tumbling headfirst out of the plane at 120 miles an hour at an altitude of about 13,000ft. When the parachute was inflated there was a jolt but after that it was ‘plane sailing’.
“I loved every second as we gradually floated down to the ground. I didn’t want the skydive to end. I can’t wait for the next one!”
Lois said: “Age UK is such an inspirational and hard-working charity. Any donations would be gratefully received for this good cause.”
To give to Lois’ sponsored skydive for Age UK please click here.