Daring Teela conquers fears to plummet 13,000ft for Alzheimer’s Research UK

16 May 2017

 A daring fundraiser from Wickes’ Chelmsford store has overcome her fear of heights to take part in a tandem skydive for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Teela Jarvis jumped from a dizzying 13,000ft as part of the charity’s Skydive Day, along with colleagues and friends who were all raising money for the UK’s leading dementia research charity. Teela was spurred on by thoughts of her grandad, who is living with Alzheimer’s disease, and has so far raised hundreds from the challenge to support pioneering dementia research.

Teela during her skydive

Teela, who lives in Colchester, was one of dozens of skydivers to take the plunge for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Skydive Day on Saturday 6 May, with people taking part at various locations across the country. The challenge is one of a series of fundraising events being taken on by Wickes colleagues, after the home improvement retailer voted for Alzheimer’s Research UK to become their charity partner.

The Design Consultant knows only too well how devastating the impact of dementia can be. Teela’s grandad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s more than a decade ago, and is now living in a care home where he can receive specialist care.

Teela said:

“Seeing this disease first-hand has been a real eye-opener. Many people still don’t know that it’s so much more than memory loss: it’s a horrible disease, and the impact has rippled through the entire family. My grandparents have been married for 60 years, and before my grandad had to move into a home, my nan was his sole carer. But he doesn’t know who she is any more, and that’s just devastating.

“Last year when we were voting for Wickes’ charity partner I supported Alzheimer’s Research UK because this cause means so much to me, and I was delighted when they were chosen. Last year I ran a half marathon and I knew I wanted to do another challenge this year, although a skydive wasn’t exactly top of my list. But a colleague suggested it and I suddenly found I’d been volunteered for the event!”

She added:

“As we sat in the plane and the instructor ran through what was going to happen, all I could think about was the fact I was about to jump out. Then the door opened, we sat on the edge and suddenly everything changed. It was an amazing feeling, a once in a lifetime experience – it felt like we were flying! I’m so glad I took part but more importantly, I’m really pleased with the incredible support I’ve had from people who sponsored me. Once I overcame my nerves I really enjoyed the experience, but what was most important was the reason we were doing it and I’m delighted to be helping support Alzheimer’s Research UK’s work.”

Kate Moss, Corporate Partnerships Officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“What an amazing challenge! We couldn’t be more grateful to Teela for braving these heights and backing our vital research. The money raised by Teela and her colleagues at Wickes is helping to fund essential resources and equipment for our scientists, and taking us closer to the next breakthrough. We rely on the support of the public to be able to fund our research, and it’s thanks to people like Teela and companies like Wickes that we’re able to continue our work.”

To add to Teela’s fundraising total, visit www.justgiving.com/Teela-Jarvis. To sign up for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s next Skydive Day on 23 September, visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/fundraising/skydive.