Following a life changing motorbike accident in 2020 Darren from Gloucester has being saying ‘yes’ to every challenge put in front of him. Supported and encouraged by his friends and family he now his sights set on one of those once in a life time activities, a tandem skydive! On April 6th he will be jumping for WheelPower and is really excited to be able tick this one off the bucket list.

The accident

Darren and his friends were always into their motorbikes and as they got older, with more disposable income they started doing track days across the UK. It was his biggest hobby at the time and something he loved, but on one day in 2020 whilst riding at the Castle Coombe circuit in Wiltshire that all changed.

“I have always been a biker on and off, and as we reached our 50s we started to buy track bikes and took them to different circuits. I had my accident at Castle Coombe, which resulted in a broken femur and shoulder. Unfortunately, this led to further issues and ultimately me needing my right leg amputated. It started off below knee but there were so many compilations, then sepsis happened and too much damage was done. It was a question of having my leg off or die, so I chose the first option. My amputation is as high as you can get so there’s no chance of using a prosthetic, so I’ll never walk again, and I now use a wheelchair.”

Before the accident Darren describes himself as an active guy whose life revolved around work. He ran his own business for a time, was a director of another and he admits that this dedication took up so much of his week.

Following the accident Darren’s life changed a lot and he went through a period of depression. But as time has passed and with the support of his wife he has been getting himself back out there, and he is now working part time with the Police which gives him the time to explore other opportunities to play sport and be active.

“In the summer I ended up doing rowing, sailing, and handcycling. I also found out about my local wheelchair rugby club (the Cheltenham Tigers) which I continue to enjoy being a part of. Most of the team are a lot younger than me and I’m by far the oldest! The 20 year old lads are like rockets in their chairs!”

“One of the best things that has happened since my accident was finding out about Spinal Track. A charity that supports disabled people to enjoy motorsport and drive adapted cars at some of the most famous tracks in the country, like Silverstone. I have had some great fun with them and what they’ve set up there is fantastic. I couldn’t stop smiling afterwards and I was absolutely buzzing.”

With Darren’s confidence growing he started to look at what he could do next. After browsing the internet they found out about Skydiving for WheelPower. So one day Darren’s wife turned to him and said ‘You would do a skydive wouldn’t you’ … without giving it to much thought he said ‘yes okay’, and next thing he knew it was all booked!

“I was always very outgoing and never the kind of person to be sat around, and it was the thought of that which caused me a lot of mental health issues initially. But the support I get as an amputee from other charities and from my family is fantastic, and it has opened up so much to me in the last couple of years.”

The skydive

After signing up Darren next had to get the okay from the doctors and choose a venue for the skydive itself.  He continues, “I thought this was never gonna happen as I didn’t think we’d get the specialists to sign off on me being suitable for a skydive, but then one day I got a phone call from doctor saying we can sort it. Then before Christmas it was like it was happening and it was real then!”

“I’m not a fan of heights, but I’ve done bungee jumping and don’t have much in the way of fear … which is probably why I’ve got a leg missing these days! I will be really scared sat on the edge of that plane, but once I’ve done it I know I’ll think it was awesome afterwards and will be excited to share this moment with my wife, daughter and friends who plan to come down too.”


As a charity we are hugely thankful to people like Darren who choose to take on these amazing challenges for WheelPower. As a wheelchair user himself he is keen to give back and support our mission to encourage more people with physical disabilities to access sporting opportunities and be active.

“I really appreciate everyone who has donated to such a worthy cause. I’m not just doing it for the thrill of it, but the fact that the money is going somewhere so brilliant is a really good thing. My daughter rather than give me a Christmas gift this year put x amount into my JustGiving page. It was a really clever gift and I was incredibly touched she wanted to do that rather than buy me something I didn’t need.”

Thank you once again to Darren and we look forward to updating his story with lots of wonderful images and quotes from the day itself. His fundraising page is almost at £500 and any donations would be gratefully received.


“When you get older you do create bucket lists and because I don’t believe in giving up I’ve decided to just go for it, try new things and give something back to charity at the same time. After the event you’ll hear the excitement in my voice from having survived it! It’s going to be awesome. Wish me luck everyone!”