The mum of a talented Weymouth drummer who passed away from motor neurone disease (MND) is keeping his memory alive as she plans to jump out of a plane for charity.

Spencer Bates was a well-known drummer on Weymouth's music scene and sadly died at the age of 49 in 2011.

His mum Mary Bates has recently turned 80 and as a celebration for the milestone, she has planned to ‘throw herself out of an aeroplane' and will also be ‘abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth as a warm up for the main event’ - all in aid of the Darby Rimmer MND Foundation.

Dorset Echo: Spencer BatesSpencer Bates (Image: Supplied)

The Darby Rimmer motor neurone disease (MND) Foundation aims to raise awareness of MND, and to fund and assist research into the illness with the mission of finding a cure for, raising funds and offering grants to those with the disease, as well as creating a network to help provide information and emotional support network for those diagnosed with the disease.

Mary is now calling for people across the country (and even the world) to join her in either her abseiling adventure or jumping out of a plane to raise as much money as possible for the charity.

Mary said: “I want to get people doing it all over the country. I’m really looking forward to it. You’ve just got to get on and do it – you don’t get a second chance in this lifetime. Life doesn’t end when you’re 80. It ends when it ends.”

She added: “I’m doing it to raise money and awareness of MND in memory of Spencer. It took two years to get him a diagnosis.

“Spencer was a brilliant drummer. When he was diagnosed, the first thing he said was we need to let people know about it and raise money to find a cure – He hoped that he would be the first one to beat it.”

Mary will complete her skydive on August 31.

She said: “August 31 is very, very important, being the day that my darling son Spencer passed away in 2011.

"The hole that was left by losing him could never be filled but he wanted us all to carry on raising awareness and money for research until a cure is found for this awful disease.

“If that means skydiving in my 80s, swimming with sharks in my 90s or ski jumping on my 100th birthday I will do whatever it takes to keep my promise to him.”

Ever since his death, Spencer’s family have been tirelessly fundraising for Motor Neurone Disease charities.

Spencer’s brother Stuart Bates and his partner Charlotte took on a 17-day challenge which they dubbed the ‘Spennylimpics’ in 2021,which saw them complete an array of Olympic events for charity, raising an incredible £111,000.

Spenstock was another popular music event hosted by the family at Weymouth Pavilion over a number of years.

Dorset Echo: Spencer's wife Nicky alongside his mum and dadSpencer's wife Nicky alongside his mum and dad (Image: Supplied)

Mary said: “For the first one, Spencer could play the drums, during the second one, his dad taped his hands to his drumsticks for him and for the third one, his son got up on stage and sang with one of the bands - We have kept doing something for charity all the time.”

Her main message to people is - “Come and join me and we can all soar like eagles. I really want to let people know that just because your older, you don’t have to be sitting there thinking that you wished you did that thing.”

If you would like to donate to the fundraiser, visit: