Cadent’s Coventry high-flyers take the plunge for people with dementia

helping our community

The sky was the limit for an intrepid bunch of charity fundraisers from Coventry-based gas network company Cadent as they plummeted 13,000 feet from an aeroplane in aid of Alzheimer’s Society.
Roping in boss Chris Mead to aid their efforts, the plucky five-strong team from Cadent’s HR department raised more than £5,377 after taking part in Alzheimer’s Society’s ‘One Giant Leap’ charity skydive - and funds are still pouring in.
Strapped to flying instructors for the tandem skydives, the workmates at Cadent’s Holbrooks offices, completed their adrenaline-fuelled aerial adventure at Hinton Skydiving Centre near Brackley, Northamptonshire, on Sunday 11 March.
Head of HR Chris said: “It was all for a great cause and when your team are doing something like this how can you refuse to join them? It was an amazing experience. I am very proud of the team; they were very brave.”
Lisa Courtney, Community Fundraiser for Alzheimer’s Society in Coventry said: “We would just like to thank Cadent’s HR team for their absolutely incredible fundraising. They smashed their fundraising target and this money will make a huge difference to people with dementia.”
The skydive was the brainchild of Aimee Kennedy, HR Business Partner Operations, who was given the job of coming up with a team fundraising idea for the company’s charity, Alzheimer’s Society.
“I thought it would be great to push us out of our comfort zone and do something that would give us a sense of achievement and raise lots of money for a really worthwhile cause,” said Aimee, of Bannerbrook Park, Coventry.
Colleague Keri Handford, Head of Employee Relations, added: “A couple of us needed a bit of coaxing but once we started getting the sponsorship there was no backing out! I was absolutely petrified beforehand but it was amazing. Once the parachute opened it felt like you were standing in the air. There was even a rainbow.”
Meanwhile, Head of HR Services Carol Cooke overcame a life-long fear of heights to do the jump. “I was determined to face my fears for this worthwhile cause. My family couldn’t believe I was doing it but I wanted to set an example for my step-daughters. I was terrified going up in the plane but the jump was incredible. It was so beautiful. I would do it again for charity,” she said.
Resourcing Advisor Rianne Reeve added: “Skydiving has always been on my bucket list so I jumped at the chance. I will admit I did scream a little bit but the amount we raised is amazing and couldn’t be going to a better charity.”
In June Cadent announced a two-year fundraising partnership with Alzheimer’s Society. The company has pledged to raise £100,000 for the charity and to make at least 1,000 employees ‘Dementia Friends’.
‘Dementia Friends’ information sessions help people better understand the challenges faced by those living with dementia and the small ways in which they can help.
Alzheimer’s Society provides information and support for people with dementia and their families, funds research and creates lasting change for people affected by dementia. For more information about Alzheimer’s Society go to

10 facts about dementia
  • 850,000 people with dementia in the UK – set to rise to one million by 2021.
  • Dementia is the leading cause of death in England and Wales.
  • One person develops dementia every three minutes.
  • Dementia is not a natural part of ageing – over 40,000 people under the age of 65 are living with the condition.
  • Dementia is caused by diseases of the brain – diseases such as Alzheimer’s cause nerve cells to die, damaging the structure and chemistry of the brain.
  • It’s not just about memory loss. Although dementia often starts by affecting short-term memory, it can also affect the way people think, speak, perceive things, feel and behave.
  • People can still live well with dementia. Scientists and researchers are working to find a cure but until then support and treatments are available that can help with dementia symptoms and managing daily lives.
  • £40 pays for five people with dementia to attend an Alzheimer’s Society ‘Singing for the Brain’ session
  • £150 pays for an Alzheimer’s Society National Dementia Helpline Advisor to provide 10 hours of crucial support to people affected by dementia
  • £610 would pay for a Doctoral Training Centre to run for one day helping up to eight PhD researchers carry out ground-breaking studies in dementia research


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

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Rebecca Wright

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