Sky’s the limit for Lorna as she completes daunting challenge

PUBLISHED: 08:12 10 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:03 11 September 2019

Lorna Rolfe and her skydiving instructor. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Lorna Rolfe and her skydiving instructor. Picture: CONTRIBUTED


A Great Chesterford woman raised almost £2,000 by completing a tandem skydive.

Lorna Rolfe, 68, took part in the daunting challenge on August 24 at the North London Skydiving Centre, in Cambridgeshire.

Lorna, a former deputy lord lieutenant of Essex, was initially scheduled to jump on August 9 but high winds and torrential rain lead to the experience being postponed.

The purpose of Lorna's jump was to raise money for Open Road, a charity which helps people struggling with drug and alcohol issues across Essex.

She said: "As my eighth decade is now firmly in sight this experience was not top of my bucket list, but as is the case for so many fantastic charities, funding for Open Road continues to be an issue. The object of my flight was and is to raise as much money as possible."

Lorna's instructor, Glen Staley, from Durham, was 'friendly' and has been jumping for more than 20 years.

She said: "When I asked him why he did it, over the very loud noise of the plane engine as we were flying upwards, he replied: 'in another 10 minutes you'll have your answer'".

"As I slipped over the edge of the plane I realised, perhaps, what eventually becomes obvious to the clients of Open Road you really need to want to make the journey, you must have complete faith in your mentor and you couldn't successfully achieve your goal without the commitment and support of these very special people."

Lorna said she felt 'very relaxed' and 'rather amazed' at the turnout of spectators, among whom were families having picnics and people who had brought deckchairs, creating a 'convivial' atmosphere.

She described the jump, which last about five minutes, as 'wonderfully tranquil'.

She added: "After the parachute opened we drifted slowly down over East Anglia's yellow and brown fields, which had the appearance of a well-designed patchwork quilt. It was a beautiful day so everything was clearly visible."

"I am delighted to have taken part and hoped it would raise a goodly amount for Open Road," she added.

Lorna has raised about £1,900 to date. You can donate to the Just Giving Page at

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