Charity leap of faith for Philip - aged 91

91 year old Philip Goldsmith is getting ready for his charity sky dive.PHOTO: Nick Butcher

91 year old Philip Goldsmith is getting ready for his charity sky dive.PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

A 91-year-old is set to take a giant leap in a skydive for a charity supporting older people in the city.

Philip Goldsmith stepped forward when Age UK Norwich put out the call for volunteers earlier this year to take the sponsored plunge from Beccles Airfield on September 24.

Mr Goldsmith, from the north of the city, who is well known for his table tennis and piano playing skills, said: 'I'm quite looking forward to it. I'm not nervous, not that it would matter if I was. I'll be strapped to someone else, and they'll push me out. You can't really change your mind and walk away, can you?'

Mr Goldsmith is already a veteran of two charity abseils, including one down the maternity block at the old Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, and one down Prospect House, home of the Evening News.

And if anyone wonders about his fitness, you might try his regime.

'I play table tennis three times a week, for two hours at a time,' he said. 'The other players are all older people, like myself, but they're good player – so it's quite a workout.

'I've played for most of my life, though I missed about 20 years, and took it up again four years ago.'

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With the clock ticking towards International Older People's Day on October 1 – this year focusing on ageism and stereotypes – Mr Goldsmith would be a good example to people 30 years younger.

As well as playing table tennis regularly at the Methodist Church, Chapelfield, at the Norman Centre and also at Felthorpe, he is a popular pianist for sing-along – performing at Corton House on Bracondale, and often receiving other bookings.

Jumping out of a plane will be a new experience for him, but he served as an army driver in the Second World War, then worked for Barnards ironworks in the city, and was an active member of St John Ambulance.

He later worked as an ambulance driver for Norwich City Council; and for Age Concern – the charity which became Age UK.

With £150 already raised, he is now on the hunt for sponsors, and can be contacted on 01603 617636. Or sponsorship can be sent via Helen Burgess, fund-raising and communications manager for the charity, at 60, London Street, Norwich.

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