Daredevil John, 75, plans skydive for FORCE


A 75-year-old East Devon man with cancer is planning his first skydive this year and he’s looking for 29 others to join him.

John Hounsell from Ottery St Mary aims to make the 15,000 feet tandem jump at Dunkeswell on June 4 to raise money for FORCE.

The agricultural service engineer said: “I have learnt over the past year that cancer is non-discriminating. It affects the young and the old and it shows no boundaries.”

John wants to make up a team of 30 likeminded people to mark FORCE’s 30th anniversary.

30 years of support

“This year FORCE celebrates 30 years of supporting anyone locally affected by cancer. To highlight this milestone, our appeal is to find 29 like-minded people to join in with this event,” said John.

The jump is being planned in association with Skydive Buzz.

John has teamed up with Ruth Burrow of Rill Farm, Ottery St Mary to help him with this challenge.

Ruth is a respected figure in the farming community and has always been a staunch supporter of PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen) testing to raise awareness of prostate cancer.

“I have never done anything like this before in my life!” said John. “If the heights are not for you, perhaps you can help our cause by raising money in your own way, maybe a coffee morning or sponsored silence – the possibilities are endless!

Every penny helps

“Every penny helps so whatever you are able to give is greatly appreciated.”

Naomi Cole, Community Fundraiser for FORCE, said: “Our admiration for John is sky-high as he challenges himself not only to jump out of plane, but also to raise awareness and funds for FORCE Cancer Charity. We really appreciate all of the hard work that he and his team have already put in, and wish them all the very best with their challenge. Huge thanks to everyone involved.”

To join John’s jump or for more information you can contact him on 07976 749391 or 01404 813837, Ruth on 01404 812899 or Skydive Buzz on 01404 890222 or at www.skydiveukltd.com

John has set up an online fundraising page – http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/reachforthesky

Follow his progress on twitter @SkydiveForFORCE, on facebook/REACHfortheSKY or on their website www.skydiveforforce.co.uk

  • REACH FOR THE SKIES: Our picture shows John Hounsell and his supporters launching the Reach for the Sky fundraising campaign for FORCE Cancer Charity. Eleven of the 35 people pictured have undergone treatment for cancer and everyone has been affected by the disease.