A PENSIONER braved a 15,000 ft skydive in Spain last week to raise funds for Age Concern Girvan.

Jim Kennedy, 81, leapt from an aircraft in Seville alongside his son Matt which attracted over £2,000 in donations.

When the challenge drew closer, a terrified Jim was close to backing out of the three-mile plunge, but for generous locals, he followed through. Jim said: “To be quite honest if there hadn’t been so many people who donated I might’ve pulled out, but I had to go in the end and I got it done.

“It was a bit scary, they throw you out at three miles and you fall at 120mph for two miles and then they pull the parachute when you have a mile to go. It was pretty scary for me, even though I knew it was safe having them for three days up and down. My son did 16 jumps while he was there so I knew it was safe.

“My son pulled me in to start with, then someone said well if you’re doing that you may as well do it for a charity so this place was the first place that sprung to mind.”

With the nerve-racking prospect of being launched from a plane looming, Jim admits seeing his son go before him was even more daunting. He added: “It was more scary when Matt jumped out in front of me, and to see him hurl himself out in the middle of space with no parachute, it was there but it hadn’t opened yet, that was a bit frightening as well.”

“It was nae bother”, Jim joked, “But that’s two I’ve done, my first and my last.

“It all went very well and the donations have been absolutely unbelievable.”

Money raised will revamp the kitchen at Age Concern Girvan with new appliances including a fridge-freezer and a deep fryers. The group is run by volunteers providing nutritious meals to elderly locals three-days a week. Jim has been going regularly for the last year now.

He said: “I started going about a year ago, my wife, Helen, took badly and couldn’t cook anymore so we started coming here, and when she passed away I started coming here.

“It’s only open three days a week but I’m not coming so often now because I get so much food handed in to me. I’m fortunate that way, my family and friends are always cooking a bit extra for Jim.”