Daring mum set to take to the skies for dementia research charity

04 May 2017

A thrill-seeker from AXA Insurance’s Stockton-on-Tees office will be jumping out of a plane at 10,000ft to raise money for Alzheimer’s Research UK, the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Emma-Bliss Harding, a Team Leader at the company, was inspired to take part in the fundraiser after seeing the devastating impact of dementia in her own family. Her husband’s grandad is in the early stages of dementia and the entire family has struggled as parts of him they know and love have disappeared.

Emma-Bliss Harding

The mother-of-one will be doing her jump on Saturday 6 May at Peterlee Parachute Centre, based at Shotton Airfield. She will be supported by her colleagues who will take part in the Skydive Day at locations across the UK, as part of AXA Insurance’s fundraising activity for Alzheimer’s Research UK. In two years, the company has raised a staggering £250,000 for the charity, which powers world class studies focusing on prevention, diagnosis and treatments for dementia. This means they have hit their three-year fundraising target one year early.

Emma-Bliss, from Norton, said:

“I’ve always wanted to take part in a skydive and then the opportunity came up at work so I went for it. I turned 30 last year and I’ll be 31 at the end of May, so I thought it was time to bite the bullet. I’m really nervous, but I’ve been speaking to people who have done one before and they’ve reassured me that I’ll love it once I’m out of the plane. I think there’ll be a celebratory drink afterwards!”

She added:

“I’m really pleased to be able to do something I’ve always dreamed of, while also fundraising for a fantastic cause. My husband’s grandad is in the early stages of dementia and it’s been a real struggle for the whole family as we are really close. He is known for being a storyteller and it’s so hard when he forgets things. There are some points where we see a glimmer of how he used to be, but other times he is just sitting there watching the world go by. We must find a cure to stop people having to go through this awful condition.”

Jade Rolph, Corporate Partnerships Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We’re incredibly grateful to Emma-Bliss for taking part in our Skydive Day and we’re glad she will be able to cross a life-long goal off her list at the same time. Emma-Bliss’ personal experience with dementia just highlights how important our cause is. Without the support of our corporate partners, like AXA Insurance, we would not be able to fund our pioneering research, which is helping to bring a life-changing treatment for dementia ever closer. So a big thank you to all those taking the leap on 6 May!”

To donate to Emma-Bliss’ cause, please visit her fundraising page.