A Shinfield care home resident is ‘on cloud nine’ after experiencing the thrill of freefall at an indoor skydiving centre.

The team at Care UK’s Parsons Grange, on Westall Street, pulled out all the stops for resident David Gallagher when they discovered it was his lifelong wish to jump out of a plane.

As David has Parkinson’s disease, he was unable to take part in a real skydive. But the 72-year-old proved age is just a number as he was lifted off the floor by 110mph gusts inside a purpose-built flight simulator at the iFly centre in Basingstoke.

Dressed in blue flight suit, David was guided by a specialist instructor and cheered on by friends and family as he learned to master the wind.

Former accountant David said: “I had an amazing time – I think my smile said it all.

“Although I was unable to jump out of a real plane, the indoor skydiving experience was truly exhilarating. I’m sure the real thing would be even more so.

“I’ve always been a very active person and I’m determined not to allow Parkinsons to inhibit me in any way. Doing this skydive experience was another example of not allowing the condition to define me.”

Thrill-seeker David, who trained as a diver in his younger years, has always had his heart set on freefalling.

The grandfather-of-four added: “Parachute jumping is something I’ve always wanted to do. I actually trained to do a jump 30 years ago but it was cancelled due to the weather and I just never rescheduled.

“It meant a lot to me to get out and enjoy myself and achieve something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.”

The special visit was part of the home’s Wishing Tree initiative, which encourages residents to put wishes forward, allowing them to reconnect with a past hobby or try something completely new. From flying a plane to enjoying a fish and chip supper, no wish is too big or small.

Rozina Ali, Home Manager at Parsons Grange, said: “David is a true thrill seeker and has such a positive attitude to life. When he told us that he’d always wanted to try skydiving, we were excited to set about making this happen for him.

“Our Wishing Tree initiative is a wonderful way for residents to share their passions and ambitions and it’s hugely rewarding to be able to make these a reality.

“We want to thank iFly for helping to bring David’s dreams to life. It was an absolutely brilliant day and we know it meant a lot to David – he’s been on cloud nine ever since.”

Designed to enable residents to live active and fulfilled lives, while also promoting independence, Parsons Grange care home has been designed with residents in mind. The home has plenty of space for leisure and hobby activities as well as a café, hair salon, bar and a cinema for residents to enjoy.