High-flying Hilda, 82, completes charity skydive

Hilda Collis completes charity skydive for Blesma

A great-grandmother from Lancashire has reached new heights after jumping out of a plane for charity.

Onward resident Hilda Collis, 82, took part in a sponsored skydive on Saturday (22 September) to raise money for Blesma, the limbless veterans charity.

Speaking before her big jump, Hilda said: “My husband was in the Royal Artillery and then the Paras (Parachute Regiment), so I’ve been involved with the army for 40-odd years.

“When you’re with the army you see lots of people on crutches and in wheelchairs with limbs missing, and many friends of ours had lost limbs. So when the opportunity came up to do a skydive for Blesma, I jumped at the chance – it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

Watched on by her family, the great-grandmother of six completed the tandem skydive at the Black Knights Parachute Centre in Cockerham.

She said: “Blesma are doing a big skydive down south called ‘Fall for the Fallen’, but I couldn’t really afford to go to that so they gave me permission to do mine at Cockerham instead.”

Hilda, who is a resident at Onward’s Park House sheltered housing scheme in Longridge, hopes to raise a total of £2,000.

She said: “So far, I’ve raised £1,218. I’ve collected money on the bus, in church, on Facebook… all over.”

And Hilda, who was formerly mayor of Longridge, is already planning her next thrill-seeking adventure.

“I’d like to do the zip-wire from the top of Blackpool Tower next,” says Hilda. “Even if it takes me all day to climb the steps up the tower, I’ll get there!”

Hilda is hoping to raise £2,000 for Blesma. If you would like to support her, please visit her JustGiving page.

Blesma, The Limbless Veterans is the national charity for all limbless service men and women, their widows and dependents. It was formed in the years following the First World War and became a national charity in 1932.