This is Dilys Price at 13,000 feet. With 82 years under her parachute, she jumped out of an airplane to save the charity organization she founded over a decade ago. She tweets Dylan Thomas quotes. "Daredevil Dilys" is my new role model.
Price first took a leap at 54, around the same time she founded Touch Trust, a unique charity that “...promote[s] the development of an inclusive society through the provision of creative movement opportunities for those who are isolated and lonely and often denied access to society and the therapeutic arts because of their perceived disability.” Touch Trust focuses a great deal of their work on individuals who are affected by Autistic Spectrum Disorder, holding music, art, and creative movement classes regularly in their residency at the Wales Millennium Centre. The foundation also provides workshops and trainings for educators who would like to bring Touch Trust programs to other cities and towns.
Last winter, she learned that Trust Touch was losing a £15,000 grant they depended on to help subsidize classes, so Price took to the streets, the internets, and the skies. When a peaceful and musical demonstration outside of the Wales Art Council failed to convince the powers that be to renew Touch Trust’s grant, Price decided to hold a sponsored skydive in hopes of a sky fall. Price teamed up with 16-year old Megan Fears, whose brother is a regular at Touch Trust, to set the Guinness World Record for oldest and youngest skydive. They held an online fundraising campaign in anticipation of their jump with a goal of £10,000. On September 13, the pair succeeded in their dive and the campaign has brought in more than £3,000. (Donations are still being accepted if you have the cash, or maybe want to donate in someone’s name as an early holiday gift: https://www.justgiving.com/oldestandyoungest/)
Price has completed more than 1,000 dives and changed even more lives. This year, the UK’s National Diversity Awards honored Dilys Price and her commitment to equality with the Lifetime Achiever Award.
As if free-falling through thousands of feet of bright blue yonder isn't terrifying enough, this babe has actually experienced parachute failure, but it has not curbed her taste for adventure in the slightest. She told the story to Wales Online:
“Once my parachute opened, but with lots of twists, so I couldn’t kick out of it. I went to pull the reserve cord, but because of the twists I couldn’t pull it. Eventually, with an almighty pull, my rescue parachute came out. That was at 1,000 feet, but it didn’t put me off.”
Okay, next time I get scared riding my bike or public speaking or interviewing for a job, I will think of Dilys Price.
She gives great advice on Twitter, too.
Images and video via Wales News Service, Touch Trust, Wales Millennium Centre, Y Ganolfan.