A CHEF has swapped hobs and an oven for a plane and a parachute in a bid to raise money for charity.

Chris Laidler ascended thousands of feet in the air to take part in a charity skydive to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society and Barchester Healthcare’s charitable foundation.

The head chef at Marnel Lodge Care Home, in Carter Drive, Popley, run by Barchester Healthcare, dived through the clouds in a tandem skydive in honour of the charities on Saturday, 30 March.

Residents have got to know Chris during his nine-year tenure at the care home, and many colleagues and people living at the care home were cheering him on as he left the facility to take part in the daredevil act.

Chris said: “My goal for taking part in this challenge was to raise awareness of the fantastic job the Alzheimer’s Society and The Barchester Foundation do for the people and the families they support.

“Everyone at Marnel Lodge has been really supportive; I’m usually a little afraid of heights but it was for such a good cause so that kept me focused. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

So far the chef has raised more than £1,500 with the support of sponsorship from donations, but is looking to collect as many donations as he can for the two charities.

As part of one of the UK’s largest care providers, Chris wanted to use his role at the care home to help raise awareness the organisations helping people with the conditions which affects many of the home’s residents.

He added: “Alzheimer’s and dementia is a cruel disease and having the privilege to work and care for so many wonderful people at different stages of their journey, it’s heartbreaking to now see my mum go on her journey with dementia.”

Marnel Lodge provides care, nursing care and dementia care for 62 residents from respite care to long-term stays.

To donate to the skydive effort, go to justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-laidler7.