An OAP has finally overcome her lifelong fear of flying – by going gliding just months before her 100th birthday.
Olwyn Hopkins, 99, developed a phobia of flying after she caught a flight from Portsmouth to the Isle of Wight with her friend more than eight decades ago.
Olwyn and her friend rented out a small aircraft in 1937 but due to height and turbulence the plane was shaking and she says she was screaming the whole journey.
She says the flight scared her so much, she decided to get a boat back home.
Since then, Olywn, had never been on a plane because she developed such a fear from her flight experience which ‘traumatised’ her.
But now with Olwyn’s 100th birthday approaching in May next year, she finally overcame her phobia.
Olwyn, who worked in the civil service up until she got married to her husband David Hopkins, flew as a passenger across the Felsham airfields, in Suffolk as a pre-birthday wish.
She said: “I just turned up, it didn’t bother me from start to finish – I just Loved it.
“And it felt marvellous, I wasn’t frightened at all.
“I wanted to show people that you can do anything you want to, no matter how old you are – age has no boundaries.
“It was a wonderful day and I was delighted to be able to get back into an aircraft.
“I didn’t think I’d get the chance again after all these years, so it was a fantastic surprise.”
Olywn, a care home resident at Care UK’s Davers Court, in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk was surprised by the team with the opportunity to overcome her fear.
Born in Wales, Olwyn says she took on the challenge to inspire other people and tick a wish off her bucket list.
With the help of Rattlesden Gliding Club, Olwyn travelled to the airfield for her chance to take in the views of the world beneath.
Home manager at Davers Court Wendy Harvey, said: “Here at Davers Court it is important for us to really know our residents and understand their wants and needs – whether it’s putting on a new weekly workshop at the request of a resident, or organising something more adventurous for them to do.
“When Olwyn submitted her wish to our ‘wishing well’, we were thrilled to be able to make her request happen and help her tick a real ‘must do’ off her bucket list.
“Olwyn had a brilliant time and it was great to see her overcome a fear she’s had for so many years – she’s not stopped smiling since.”
Olwyn added: “It was a really memorable day – I can’t thank Rattlesden Gliding Club and the team at Davers Court enough for organising this experience for me.”
Davers Court care home provides full-time residential and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care.
Designed to enable its residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has its very own cinema and hair salon, and there is plenty of space both in and outdoors for relaxation and recreation.