Record breaker Adeline, 94, completes a thrilling skydive in aid of the RNLI

Lifeboats News Release

Abbeyfield care home resident turned adrenaline seeker Adeline Franken completed a skydive at Cark Airfield in Cumbria and donated the money she raised to the RNLI.

Adeline is a 94 year old resident at Abbeyfield Cove House, a care home for older people with a spectrum of diverse needs based in Silverdale, North Lancashire. She has a strong passion for the RNLI charity and a great respect for its volunteer crew who saves lives at sea.

The RNLI is a charity close to Adeline’s heart. She said, “My father-in-law was a Captain in the Netherlands Merchant Navy. His ship was torpedoed on a run from Holland to South America. He and his crew had to be rescued.”

The skydive took place on August 4 2019 at Cark Airfield, with Jodie Evans, Cove House Manager, Ann Epps, Vice-Chair of the Grange-over-Sands branch of the RNLI, and other friends in attendance. After the exhilarating experience, Adeline said, “There is nothing to it, you just move towards the edge and kind of flop out. You start to fall, then when you are well clear of the aircraft the parachute opens and you go back up!” The jump makes Adeline a record breaker, as she became the oldest woman in Britain to ever undertake such a challenge.

When asked why she took on the daredevil feat, she simply responded, “It’s just something to do – better than watching paint dry.” However, when she is not jumping from 15,000 feet, Adeline still finds plenty to occupy her time. She takes advantage of a wide variety of activities on offer to residents at Cove House, including yoga, music sessions, flower arranging, and knitting for a women’s hospital in Ethiopia. She also enjoys walking around the grounds and taking trips into Carnforth village, where she attends communion and catches up with her friends over a coffee.

Chris Clouter, RNLI volunteer Press Officer at Barrow Lifeboat Station, stated, “We at the RNLI are so lucky to have supporters like Adeline raising money for our charity. Barrow Lifeboat Station wants to say a huge thank you to Adeline, on behalf of the RNLI, and also congratulations on such an impressive achievement! The RNLI is a charity and we depend on donations like this as we provide a 24/7 search and rescue service.”

Cove House Manager Jodie Evans said, “We knew Adeline was a bit of a daredevil, but we never expected to have her take on a skydive. It’s a tremendous achievement for her and one we are all so proud of. The slideshow of photos has also been a real highlight for our other residents to watch!”

RNLI Area Fundraising Manager Adele Sherwood stated, “Adeline is such an inspirational character, and has proved that it’s never too late to try something new. The RNLI are so grateful to have such amazing supporters like Adeline, who raise vital funds for our charity and helps us save lives at sea.”

Adeline is raising money on her ‘Just Giving’ page, with her current total sitting at over £500. You can still help her reach her target by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adeline-franken. “I think the RNLI do such a fantastic job,” she says. “If my skydive will help to raise a great deal of money for them, then that’s all that matters.”

The RNLI is a charity which depends on donations, like the funds raised by Adeline, to train and equip volunteers and in turn help them save lives at sea. Around 150 people still lose their lives in the UK and Irish Waters annually, and the RNLI aims to half the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The RNLI has over 5,000 volunteer lifeboat crew, who provide a 24/7 search and rescue service.

The RNLI is a charity and depends on donations.

RNLI Media Contacts

Katie Lewis, Media Engagement Placement Wales and West at Katie_lewis@rnli.org.uk or alternatively Danielle Rush, Regional Media Manager on 07786668829 or at Danielle_rush@rnli.org.uk

About Abbeyfield:

· Established in 1956, the Abbeyfield Society is a charity providing housing, residential care and support to older people. The organisation has over 400 homes and houses in the UK and overseas, in which staff and 4,000 volunteers support 8,000 older people living in a family-like atmosphere.

· The charity’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for older people.

· The Abbeyfield Society’s values are caring, openness, honesty and respect. · For more information about Abbeyfield visit www.abbeyfield.com.

· For media enquires contact Senior PR & Communications Officer, Mike Silverstone, at m.silverstone@abbeyfield.com, or on 01727 734 122.

· Visit Abbeyfield’s media centre to stay up-to-date with news: https://www.abbeyfield.com/get-in-touch/media/.

RNLI/The Abbeyfield Society

Adeline enjoying the skydive at Cark Airfield

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or or by email.

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