​Eighty year old and late best friend’s grandson to fly high to combat stigma on eating disorders

Posted 31/08/2017

Fiona Try and Ben Melrose, will be jumping 10,000 feet from a plane to raise awareness and funds for Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity.

Fiona, aged eighty, originally planned to jump with her close friend Jan. They were both members of Inner Wheel of Great Britain and Ireland, who chose Beat as their charity of the year in 2016-17. Tragically, Jan passed away in July 2017, aged seventy.

The pair, from Windsor and Farnham Common, chose to support Beat after hearing the story of a father who lost his daughter after a long battle with anorexia.

Fiona, a grandmother of eleven, felt compelled to raise funds for those affected by eating disorders. After Jan’s passing, her grandson Ben, aged 17, bravely stepped up to join Fiona for this daring challenge.

Fiona said: “We felt that Beat are the sort of charity that we would like to do everything possible to support, because an eating disorder can affect any one of our families in a terrible way.

“We have been so fortunate that although we have eleven grandchildren, to date we have not had this terrible psychological illness to contend with. But there is nothing to say that some of the younger ones will not want to change their body image to resemble their idols and then how to meet the difficulty trying to help and support them.

“Beat has made a vast difference to so many families and really need our support to continue their good work. I also want to make this a tribute to my very good friend Jan Carling, who was going to do this parachute jump with me. Jan will be much missed for her enthusiasm, energy and always being there to help.

Ben said: “I decided to take my granny's place in this jump, despite being appalled at the thought of flinging myself out of a moving plane to an uncertain fate below.

“I believe that her work and all the good she did in life by raising money and awareness for numerous charities should continue. She gave so much in aid of others, both in time and donations, that it is only fitting that the last act she set in motion should be for charity.

“I am determined to make it so, especially for a charity addressing issues so close to her heart (as several of her friends and loved ones have struggled to overcome eating disorders in their lives). It is because of this that I have decided to jump in her stead, so that her legacy of kindness and giving will live on, even if it’s just for a little bit longer.”

The skydive will take place on 10 September at The Army Parachute Association, Netheravon, Salisbury, Wiltshire at about 12.00 midday.