A FORMER soldier fulfilled his dream of 40 years by taking to the skies in the name of charity.

David Easen from Trimdon Station took part in a tandem skydive in memory of his mother.

The 60-year-old commemorated the tenth anniversary of her death alongside ten other thrillseekers preparing to jump at the Skydive Academy in Shotton Colliery.

Mr Easen faced a 10,000 foot drop which saw him complete the dive with a standing landing.

He took part in the daunting task in aid of the Alzheimer's Society – a charity which works to provide a range of support services for those facing dementia.

The adventurer wanted to support the cause and hopes one day there will be a cure for dementia – an illness his mother battled for 12 years before her death.

He said: "My mam would have thought I was mad for doing the skydive – all of the family do.

"Everyone has been really supportive and I want to thank everyone who donated."

The community rallied in support of Mr Easen, donating nearly £250 to support the work of the charity.

He said he was overwhelmed by the amount of money raised and would love to take part in another skydive in the future.

He said: "I wanted to do it again it was marvellous.

"They chucked me out first because I was the oldest but I was absolutely buzzing. I've wanted to it since I was 20 years old."

Mr Easen dreamed of doing the skydive since he joined the army 40 years ago.

He explored various thrill-seeking stunts as a soldier including abseiling down cliffs but always wanted to join the Parachute Regiment.

Before he could turn his dreams into a reality he decided to leave the army as no longer enjoyed where he was based.

After decades of believing he would never be able to make the jump, he was offered the chance by his son.

Mr Easen's son was gifted the parachute jump and paid for his father to do it as well as wanted to support the charity and make his father's dreams come true.