Pair's 15,000ft drop for Alzheimer's

As World Alzheimer's Day approaches, two Royal Preston Hospital workers have plummeted from an aeroplane to help fight the disease.

Wednesday, 14th September 2016, 1:52 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:37 pm
RPH Occupational therapists Claire Sutton and Simon Blakemore before their skydive to raise cash for Alzheimer's Society

Simon Blakemore, 28, and Claire Sutton, 35, work with patients fighting dementia on a daily basis and they say it is for that reason they took on the skies for the challenge.

“I have come across many challenging situations with dementia patients,” said trainee occupational therapist Simon. “I believe that it’s extremely important that the individual with dementia has suitable living conditions, adequate care and support networks, family support and education around the condition available if required.”

Occupational therapist Claire agreed, saying: “Just £20 could pay for a person with dementia, or their carer, to spend an hour with an experienced Dementia Support Worker and £100 funds a month’s worth of peer support sessions.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It’s for these reasons that myself and Simon thought we should do something to raise money and awareness to support Alzheimer’s Society.”

So the pair visited Black Knights Parachute Centre, near Lancaster, and kitted up for the 15,000ft drop with a target of raising £800 and awareness for Alzheimer’s Society.

And the NHS workers certainly had a mixture of feelings about the experience.

“It was such an amazing exhilarating experience,” said Claire. “One that we both will never forget. It felt spiritual and peaceful up there flying through the sky.”

Simon said: “I loved the speed and adrenaline rush and the views over Lancaster. It was a perfect day for it too.”

Along with a cake sale and a car boot, Claire and Simon managed to raise £1350.

If you’d like to support their cause, you can donate at -