Greyhound trainer skydives on 81st birthday for two good causes

Mel Shields (centre) completed the skydive on his 81st birthday to support Ashfields Care Home.

Mel Shields (centre) was cheered on by Hayley Gurklis, Wendell Damasco and Danielle Sand from Ashfields Care Home for his sky dive. - Credit: Ashfield Care Home

A greyhound trainer celebrated his 81st birthday by sky diving to support care home residents and rehoming retiring dogs. 

Mel Shields, from Rackheath, near Norwich, took to the sky at Beccles Airfield on July 25, his birthday, to raise money for Ashfields Care Home, in Norwich, and for the Yarmouth Greyhouse Homefinders.

The trainer races goes to meets at Great Yarmouth stadium, twice a week, owning four racing dogs.

He said he wanted the money to go the Homefinders to help with costs while dogs find their forever homes and so Ashfields can put the money towards activities for the residents and raise awareness of dementia. 

Mr Shields said: "It took a bit of time to get up there to around 14,000 feet, it was a bit cloudy but the view was quite good.

"I'm not any good at rattling a tin, so I say I will do the job and they raise as much money as they can." 

It is not the first time the 81-year-old carer has taken to the sky, completing his first skydive eight years ago as well as a wing walk. 

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Ashfields general manager, Wendell Damasco said: “We are so grateful to Mel for raising awareness of dementia and for raising funds for the home, it is so generous of him, not to mention extremely brave. We are in awe of him jumping out of a plane on his 81st birthday."