100-year-old celebrates birthday with charity skydive

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Verdun Hayes makes potential record-breaking skydive to raise money for North Devon Hospice

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted - Credit: Archant

A 100-year-old North Devon Hospice supporter has made history by becoming the UK’s oldest skydiver.

Verdun Hayes from Georgeham marked his century on Wednesday, before leaping from a plane at 10,000ft on Saturday at Dunkeswell airfield to raise money for the hospice.

Mr Hayes a former master builder, was followed out of the aircraft by his great-grandsons Ben and Jack Tattersall.

So far he has raised more than £1,500 but money is still being counted.

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted - Credit: Archant


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He told the Gazette he wanted to do it when he was 90 and was overruled by his family, but this time ‘decided not to take any notice’.

“It was absolutely beautiful,” he said.

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“The chap I was strapped to said I could steer, so I turned around to see the whole area, it was unbelievable and then we just floated down to earth.”

Mr Hayes said he had wanted to support the hospice because of all the good work it does.

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted

100-year-old Verdun Hayes taking on his sky dive. Pictures: Submitted - Credit: Archant

The charity’s chief executive, Stephen Roberts, said: “I went along to support Verdun, and he truly is a remarkable man.”

“He was so relaxed and unfazed by the whole situation.

“Needless to say everyone at North Devon Hospice is incredibly proud of what he achieved.

“It is truly remarkable.”

The attention Verdun’s record-breaking feat has attracted has provided a boost to his online fundraising page.

Stephen added that every donation was a testament to Verdun’s achievement, and would also make a real difference to North Devon Hospice.

Stephen said: “So many people have heard about this record-breaking 100-year-old skydiver, and he was so keen to share his story because he wanted to raise as much money as possible for North Devon Hospice.

“This has meant lots of people going to his online giving page and making a donation.

“We are so grateful to Verdun for what he has done, and the bravery he has shown.

“He epitomises our ethos at the hospice, which is to focus on the life in your days, not the days in your life.

“So if you have been inspired by what this amazing man has done, please do make a donation to show your support.”

To donate to Verdun Hayes’ fundraising efforts, visit http://bit.ly/1RXx1Vg

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