Skydive pensioner’s terror

Rowland Jenkins SUS-140909-162029001
Rowland Jenkins SUS-140909-162029001

Brave pensioner Rowland Jenkins celebrated his 70th birthday by doing a tandem skydive to raise money for two worthy causes.

Rowland, who suffers from deafness, took the plunge on Monday for The Ménière’s Disease Society and East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre.

“It was the most frightening thing I have ever done,” confessed Rowland, of Rotunda Road, Eastbourne.

“Sitting on someone’s lap outside a moving plane at 12,000ft and then free-falling for a mile and a half before the parachute opens is the scariest part.

“The best part is that it is only 30 minutes between taking off and coming back to earth.”

Ménière’s Disease is a long- term, progressive condition affecting the balance and hearing parts of the inner ear.

Symptoms are acute attacks of vertigo (severe dizziness), fluctuating tinnitus, increasing deafness, and a feeling of pressure in the ear.

Rowland is inviting donations via (Meniere’s Society) or direct to ESHRC 8 St Leonards Road, Eastbourne BN21 3UH.

The Ménière’s Society raises funds for research into this disease which affects around 150,000 people in the UK as well as advising sufferers via newsletters and self-help groups.

The local support group is organised via East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre in Eastbourne which also helps deaf people with information, equipment available to try, sign language classes and support.

“They have been a great help to us – my wife Kathy learns sign language, too – since we moved here 10 years ago,” added Rowland.

Meanwhile, the next meeting of the Polegate Hard of Hearing Support Group will be held on Monday, September 22, from 10am to 11.30am in the William Daly Centre, Walnut Walk, Polegate.

It’s an excellent opportunity to meet other hard of hearing people and to make new friends in a relaxed environment.

Refreshments are free and all are welcome.