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99-year-old takes to the skies once again in surprise gliding trip

PUBLISHED: 10:44 02 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:44 02 October 2018

99-year-old Olwyn Hopkins with Davers Court lifestyle coordinator Katie Ramsbotham and pilot Liz Russell before her glider flight Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

99-year-old Olwyn Hopkins with Davers Court lifestyle coordinator Katie Ramsbotham and pilot Liz Russell before her glider flight Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

© Stephen Waller

A 99-year-old said she wanted to show people that “age has no boundaries” after she took to the skies in a surprise gliding trip.

Olwyn Hopkins, 99, and pilot Liz Russell 
Picture: STEPHEN WALLEROlwyn Hopkins, 99, and pilot Liz Russell Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

Olwyn Hopkins, who is a resident at Davers Court care home in Bury St Edmunds, was able to overcome a fear she has held for more than 80 years by taking the trip.

Born in Wales, Olwyn spent much of her life in Portsmouth before moving to London with her husband David.

Her first experience of flying in a small aircraft was 81 years ago, when she was just 19 years old, but she did not enjoy the experience and has not been on a similar plane since.

Olwyn’s last journey took her from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight but with her 100th birthday just eight months away, she hoped to take to the skies once more.

99-year-old Olwyn Hopkins with Davers Court lifestyle coordinator Katie Ramsbotham before her glider flight Picture: STEPHEN WALLER99-year-old Olwyn Hopkins with Davers Court lifestyle coordinator Katie Ramsbotham before her glider flight Picture: STEPHEN WALLER

The 99-year-old submitted a wish via the home’s ‘Wishing Well’ and staff at the Care Uk home were able to make it happen.

With the help of Rattlesden Gliding Club, Olwyn left from Felsham and was able to take in the views of the world beneath as well as crossing something off her bucket list.

Olwyn said: “I wanted to show people that you can do anything you want to, no matter how old you are – age has no boundaries.

“It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft. I didn’t think I’d get the chance again after all these years, so it was a fantastic surprise.

“It was a really memorable day – I can’t thank Rattlesden Gliding Club and the team at Davers Court enough for organising this experience for me.”

Wendy Harvey, home manager at Davers Court, said: “Here at Davers Court it is important for us to really know our residents and understand their wants and needs – whether it’s putting on a new weekly workshop at the request of a resident, or organising something more adventurous for them to do.

“When Olwyn submitted her wish to our ‘wishing well’, we were thrilled to be able to make her request happen and help her tick a real ‘must do’ off her bucket list.

“Olwyn had a brilliant time and it was great to see her overcome a fear she’s had for so many years – she’s not stopped smiling since.”

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