Ben takes to the skies

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Severely-WOUNDED paratrooper Ben Parkinson was on the end of a parachute again when he helped claim a new world record for the number of tandem skydivers jumping in a 24-hour period.

Ben, from Bessacar, was the 200th of 201 people who jumped in the event organised by Pilgrim Bandits charity, which raises money to send injured servicemen and women on adventures and expeditions.

The world record attempt tandem skydive took place at the Army Parachute Association’s HQ at Netheravon, Wiltshire, and has raised £36,000.

Ben, who is a Pilgrim Bandits patron, completed the two-mile jump strapped to Major Alistair McCartney, who runs the Jump for Heroes charity.

And Ben, who sustained 40 horrendous injuries including brain damage and the loss of both legs above the knee in Afghanistan in 2006, spent seven minutes in the air, and wants to take part again next year. Ben’s mum, Diane Dernie, of Bessacarr, said: “It was a marvellous day, a really special event.”