Daredevil pensioner’s birthday parachute jump for charity

Paul Cambell from Hastings celebrates his 71st birthday with a parachute jump. SUS-170426-105854001
Paul Cambell from Hastings celebrates his 71st birthday with a parachute jump. SUS-170426-105854001

A daredevil pensioner has marked his 71st birthday in style – by leaping from a plane.

Paul Campbell took part in his first ever parachute jump in Headcorn, Kent, on April 19 after deciding to book himself the jump as a special birthday treat.

He said: “It was wonderful.

“It’s something everyone has got to buy for themselves for their birthday once in their lives!”

It was the latest in a series of adrenaline-pumping activities undertaken by the ageing thrill-seeker, who celebrated his 69th birthday with a bungee jump and got up to speeds of 100mph on the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest, longest and highest zipwire in Snowdonia back in March.

Mr Campbell said: “I just trusted the man I jumped with.

“He had done 18,600 freefall jumps in 35 years, so I knew I could trust him.

“They just made me feel so confident and it was absolutely fantastic.

“And the weather was fantastic as well.”

But the parachute jump wasn’t just a chance for Mr Campbell to indulge in his passion, but also to raise funds for two local good causes.

Mr Campbell’s wife Carla, who has Alzheimer’s, is a resident at Park Beck care home in Upper Maze Hill.

Mr Campbell hopes to raise enough money to enable the home to buy some new garden furniture.

Money will also be going to St Michael’s Hospice, which has provided care for several of Mr Campbell’s family and friends in recent years.

He said: “I’m getting up to £1,000 at the moment and there’s money still outstanding, so hopefully it will hit the £1,000 mark in the next few days.”

Mr Campbell has been supported in his fundraising endeavours by his local pub, The Harrow Inn on The Ridge, with friends and supporters at the pub digging deep for the cause.

Meanwhile following his leap of faith, Mr Campbell is showing no signs of slowing down in his 71st year, and already has his sights set on his next daredevil challenge.

He said: “Next year, for my 72nd birthday, I have already booked in to do a wing walk.”

Mr Campbell joked: “I’m a headbanger - I do not have nerves.”

• If you would like to donate to Mr Campbell’s parachute jump, please get in touch with the Harrow Inn by calling 01424 316280 or email enquiries@theharrowinnhastings.co.uk.