Teetering on the edge of a plane looking 13,000 feet down to the Earth and contemplating to jump is not everyone’s idea of fun – but 80-year-old Jo Hollis is not your everyday person!
The supergran with two metal shoulders took to the skies above Nottinghamshire to celebrate her 80th birthday – and to raise thousands for the Woodland Trust.
Her tandem jump, from Langar Airfield, saw her given just 30 minutes tuition before being kitted out and whisked up in a small plane. The jump saw her free fall more than 10,000 feet at a speed of more than 120 mph, before the relief of the parachute opening around 5,000 feet from Earth.
Horticulturalist Jo, now known locally as ‘Jumping Jo’, has raised almost £2,000 – and is passionate about giving back to nature.
Shortly after the jump, Jo said: “It was absolutely unbelievable. The first few seconds were so quick, when you free fall. It was indescribable. I’ve now decided it was worth all the effort.
“Trees are the breath of life and all life depends on the sun and green leaf.”
And it’s not that Jo is an adrenaline junkie who has been dreaming of jumping out of a plane for most of her life. Explaining her motivation, Jo said, “I turned to my husband and said ‘this could be the last time I can get strapped to a young man!’
“He said, no Jo, this is your only chance!
“I have two metal shoulders, one from a serious accident involving a horse, and the other just wore away, but the only thing I have to make sure of is that I don’t have anaemia.”
The Woodland Trust Chief Executive Beccy Speight praised her efforts, “Jo’s brave feat is absolutely amazing, it shows that age does not have to be a barrier!
“We are extremely grateful that she is raising money for our work at the Woodland Trust with such a daring challenge. Jo can rest assured that every penny of it will go to planting or protecting our beautiful trees across the UK.”