St Albans woman’s 60th birthday charity skydive

WHILST most people might celebrate their 60th birthday with a party, a St Albans woman had an altogether more daring idea.

Andrea Woolley decided to mark the occasion by throwing herself out of an aeroplane last month, to raise money and awareness for The British Liver Trust, a charity close to her heart.

Her friend of 25 years, Ian Harding, suffers from a rare liver condition, which, despite undergoing a transplant five years ago, can never be cured.

“He has since been spending his time tirelessly fundraising for charity,” said Andrea, who became friends with Ian after sharing a flat at university with his now wife, Carolyn. “He is a real inspiration and we all love him to bits.”

Andrea completed the jump at the Netheravon Airfield, in Wiltshire, with her sons Nick, 21, and 25-year-old Joe. Her daughter Rebecca was also there to give support.

They were strapped to members of the RAF Red Devils of the Army Parachute Regiment, who guided them through the day.

After completing the feat, Andrea said: “The Red Devils were fantastic and gave me a phenomenal experience.

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“It was a highly emotionally charged day and gave me the most incredible life. I want to do it again!”

The aim now is to help Ian in his bid to become an Olympic torch bearer, as well as continuing to raise awareness of the importance of organ donation.

Ian, who would have jumped also, had it not been for his recent surgery, said: “What Andrea and her family are doing is truly fantastic and humbling. However, it doesn’t surprise me as she constantly puts others before herself and has been a huge support over the last five years.”

You can still pledge money to the charity by visiting