Birthday ambition reaches new heights for Barbara

Barbara Grice is gearing up for a parachute jump ahead of her 75th birthday as part of her "bucket list". Picture by Andrew Higgins sn123305b

Barbara Grice is gearing up for a parachute jump ahead of her 75th birthday as part of her "bucket list". Picture by Andrew Higgins sn123305b

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After beating cancer and losing her husband, 74-year-old Barbara Grice decided to achieve her life’s potential by drawing up a “bucket list”.

She has already ticked off learning to play the ukulele, buying her first pair of jeans, eating a McDonald’s burger and appearing on Countdown.

But Sunday sees her take on her biggest challenge yet, when she jumps out of a plane to raise money for her parish church.

The fearless pensioner is preparing to take the leap of faith ahead of her 75th birthday on Monday and she has already raised an impressive £15,000 for St Hilda’s, in Sherburn.

Becoming a lay minister for the Church of England formed part of her wish list and she now takes a monthly service at the church.

She said: “I had bowel cancer 30 years ago and lost my husband to Parkinson’s Disease two years ago and suddenly realised I wasn’t immortal. I decided there was an awful lot of things I needed to do before I passed away so I made my bucket list.

“The parachute jump is a birthday present to myself. I’m absolutely thrilled to bits to be doing it. I’m like a little kid, I’m so excited.

“Everyone has been so generous with their sponsorship.”

Mrs Grice’s husband, David, was gamekeeper on the Nunnington Estate for 33 years, before the couple retired to Sherburn and ran the East Riding pub for six years.

“I was married to David for 52 years and he would think I was mad, but he would have been behind me all the way,” she said.

Next up on Mrs Grice’s list is learning a foreign language and she also plans to ride the London Eye in October.

She said: “I’ve no intention of getting to the end of it. As soon as I’ve completed something, I immediately add another one on the bottom. It’s got to last another 20 years!”