AN 85-year-old resident of Ivy House has taken on his second skydive in seven years to help raise money for charity.

Briand Standring took off from the Dunkeswell Aerodrome on Friday, May 17 in a light aircraft and once at 15,000ft, he leapt out and fell back to earth with the aid of a parachute.

The fundraising feat was taken on in aid of the Alzheimers Society, a charity Brian has supported for a number of years as a volunteer.

Commenting on the dive, he said it was an “unbelievable experience” which helped ‘lighten the mood’ in the Abbeyfield Home, which is currently facing closure.

He said: “The skydive was brilliant, the weather was good, it was a bit windy, but otherwise magnificent. I have a dodgy knee so I can’t do a half marathon so I tried to find something else to do to raise money.

“Between myself and the other residents of Ivy House we have raised more than £1,000, and want to raise a further £500.”

Brian explained that he has been a longstanding supporter of the charity, ever since losing a close friend to the disease.

He said: “I have been a volunteer with the charity for four years now. I lost a very dear friend to Alzheimers and that brought me into meeting people who live with dementia, or care for people with dementia.

“One of my main jobs at the moment is that I am what they call a ‘companion caller.’ I make around six telephone calls a week to people who live on their own with dementia.

“Sometimes they are light-hearted chats sometimes it can be more serious. As of April I had made more than 1,000 phone calls. It’s one of the great things the Alzheimers Society does, and they are always looking for new volunteers.”

Brian said the skydive had lifted the mood for Abbeyfield residents, who have been facing a battle to stop their homes being closed. But after a brief ‘party mood’, residents are getting ready to “dig their heels in.”

He said: “The mood here is some degree of anger, a lot of frustration and everybody is quite determined to sit tight. There was a bit of a party atmosphere last week, we had a big coffee morning and a raffle, it added a bit of light hearted fun for a few days.

“But now we are back on track to dig our heels in and keep fighting Abbeyfield. They are quite determined to close it down and they are not going to take renegotiation so it’s a bit grim.”

The dive was timed to coincide with Dementia Action Week, when the Alzheimer’s Society works to raise awareness of the disease, and the help which is available to people who are suffering and their loved ones.

To support Brian’s fundraiser, you can donate via his Just Giving page online at