Skydiving grandad takes to new heights

PUBLISHED: 10:27 06 April 2012

Alec Giles, 80, is doing a skydive for charity

Alec Giles, 80, is doing a skydive for charity


A daredevil grandad will prove the sky really is the limit when he jumps out of a plane at 13,000ft.

Eighty-year-old Alec Giles, of Lewis Road, Istead Rise, near Gravesend, is doing a skydive to raise money for the EllenorLions Hospice in Coldharbour Road, Northfleet, where he volunteers.

This will be his second skydive although the first one was 18 years ago when he was just 62.

He said: “In October, it was my 80th birthday and I decided to treat myself and do a skydive. I thought that 80 was a good target year, it may encourage people to sponsor more.”

Although Alec denies he is an adrenaline junkie, there is another even more extreme sport on his must-do list.

“I have promised my family that I will save up to do a wing walk,” he said.

The grandfather of two has volunteered at the hospice for 15 years since retiring.

After a long career first in the navy then with the police he wanted to continue doing something active and when he heard about the hospice he offered his services.


Twice a week he works in the care therapy unit helping out with daycare patients on various activities.

So far his fundraising total is nearing the £1,000 mark but he hopes he can get nearer to £2,000.

He added: “The first person to sponsor me was my doctor. I had to be checked that I could do the skydive and when he saw my sponsor sheet and asked why it was empty I told him there was no point asking for money until he had signed my form. So he signed it and added a donation from himself!”

To sponsor Alec, visit his fundraising page at

■ Skydiving appears to be the sport of the month as Eynsford councillor Michael Horwood undertook a charity skydive along with two Eynsford residents, Lilian Breare and Mary Turner, who both in their 70s, to raise money for the renovation of the village hall.

They raised nearly £3,000 from the event on Friday, which will go toward the £1million fundraising target. Cllr Horwood said he was “absolutely terrified” of heights but in “these hard economic times we decided to go that little bit further.” To sponsor the trio, visit

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Gravesend Reporter. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Gravesend Reporter