Chocs away as Olwyn celebrates her 100th birthday

Carer Emily Hill with Olwyn Hopkins, who celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider pla

Carer Emily Hill with Olwyn Hopkins, who celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider plane, to show people can be "adventurous at any age". PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 1, 2019. - Credit: PA

It may have taken pensioner Olwyn Hopkins 99 years to conquer her fear of flying but now there is no stopping her.

Pilot Liz Russell (back) and Olwyn Hopkins getting ready for take off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her

Pilot Liz Russell (back) and Olwyn Hopkins getting ready for take off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider plane, to show people can be "adventurous at any age". PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 1, 2019. - Credit: PA

Mrs Hopkins confroned her fears last year when, at the age of 99, staff at the Davers Court care home in Bury St Edmunds, where she is a resident, arranged a flight at her request.

And now, to celebrate her 100th birthday, she has taken to the skies again with the help of a local gliding club.

Afterwards, Mrs Hopkins said: "I wanted to show people that you can be adventurous at any age, and that the sky really is the limit.

Pilot Liz Russell (back) and Olwyn Hopkins getting ready for take off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her

Pilot Liz Russell (back) and Olwyn Hopkins getting ready for take off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider plane, to show people can be "adventurous at any age". PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 1, 2019. - Credit: PA

"It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft, this time feeling excited rather than nervous.


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"It was a fantastic way to celebrate my 100th birthday and I can't thank Rattlesden Gliding Club and the team at Davers Court enough for organising this experience for me."

She said she did not enjoy her first experience of flying as a 19-year-old, which was on a trip from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight.

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She was so scared that she got the boat back and did not set foot in another aircraft until last year.

Pilot Liz Russell and Olwyn Hopkins taking off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her 100th birthday with a

Pilot Liz Russell and Olwyn Hopkins taking off, as Mrs Hopkins celebrated her 100th birthday with a flight in a glider plane, to show people can be "adventurous at any age". PA Photo. Issue date: Tuesday October 1, 2019. . - Credit: PA

She made her request to go up in a glider a second time through her care home's Wishing Tree initiative and soared over Suffolk from Felsham.

Sharlene Van Tonder, home manager at Davers Court, said: "At Davers Court, we consistently encourage residents to lead fulfilling lives, whether that comes from helping out in the garden, or taking a trip in a glider.

"Olwyn's last flying experience was a real success, so when she submitted her wish to fly a second time through our Wishing Tree initiative, we were thrilled to be able to grant her wish and help her to fulfil her dreams once more.

"Olwyn had a brilliant time and it was great to see how being up in the air brings her so much joy."

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