Sunrise of Fleet’s Sadie Celebrates 95th Birthday with Indoor Skydive

Sunrise  |  November 19, 2019

The team at Sunrise of Fleet were recently delighted to celebrate resident Sadie Donnelly’s very special 95th birthday.

To mark the big day on 12th November, Sadie went along to Cyprus with her children to celebrate. Sadie has two children, Phillip and Ruth, as well as one grandson.

For a celebration with a difference on the day, Sadie also took part in a simulated skydive at iFly in the local Leisure Park. Whilst dressed in a superhero flight suit, Sadie was able to continue pursuing her passion for giving new things a go.

The opportunity was made possible by Sunrise of Fleet’s ‘Make a Wish’ tree, an initiative introduced for residents. Each and every resident can create a wish on a love heart and hang it on a tree before Activities and Volunteers Coordinator, Lisa Baxter, then begins her mission to grant these wishes. Sadie was even inspired to take on the activity after seeing fellow resident Viv try it out last year through the same initiative.

Sadie said: “Viv was my inspiration. Seeing her do it, I thought that I could do it, so I spoke to my family who helped organise it.” Although she was a bit nervous before the skydive, Sadie said that she ended up greatly enjoying the unique opportunity.

Sadie’s daughter Ruth said: “Mum has always been one to give anything a go. Even when our late father was still alive the pair of them were very instinctive of what they did. If they saw a queue for something, they would join it not knowing what was at the end. That’s just what they were like. So, when she said she wanted to do this for her birthday I wasn’t exactly shocked.”

Sadie moved to Sunrise in 2016 with her husband George due to his need for more care and to be closer to their daughter, although George has since sadly passed away. Sadie remains a vibrant member of the Sunrise of Fleet community and joins in with the majority of pursuits on offer through the community’s dedicated activities programme.

Sadie’s top tip for young people who may be inspired by her story is to spend less time on phones and try to find out more about the world through books. And, reflecting upon her own future, Sadie has no idea what she wants to do for her 100th birthday – but knows that she wants to remain mobile and active for as long as possible.

Lisa Baxter, Activities and Volunteers Coordinator at Sunrise of Fleet, said: “We were thrilled to celebrate Sadie’s birthday by granting her special wish of trying out skydiving for the very first time. Sadie is always trying out new things and her 95th birthday presented the perfect opportunity to recognise her contribution to our ‘Make a Wish’ tree.

“We look forward to celebrating many more birthdays with Sadie and making more wishes come true for the residents at Sunrise of Fleet.”