You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Sales enquiries 0800 904 7674

Assuming I was like most grandmas was your first mistake

Dive in with scuba-enthusiast Maureen and find out about her life under the sea.

Meet Maureen

Wearing a T-shirt with a diver on it, and the slogan ‘assuming I was like most grandmas is your first mistake’, Maureen greets us at the door of her home in Merseyside with a beaming smile and an infectious laugh.

‘I know people are really shocked when I say I dive, so I just thought the t-shirt was funny. (laughs) And it shows that at any age you can do anything!’

At 59 years old, Maureen has spent the last few years living up to that mantra. Zip wires, abseiling, quad biking, white-water rafting… but it was scuba diving that became her passion at the age of 51:

‘The very first time I ever went scuba diving was in Sharm El Sheikh in the Red Sea. I’d always wanted to dive. When I was younger, in my early teens, I wanted to be the female Jacques Cousteau. Absolutely loved it - the colours were fabulous. I qualified when I was 53 and I’ve got friends in their 70s that are divers! I went on and got my PADI (Professional Association of Dive Instructors) open water certificate in 2011 and, since then, I’ve been diving in a lot of places across the UK.’

So what’s so special about diving?

‘It’s just so relaxing and calming. You feel like you’re flying through the water. Each dive is so different. When I was in Lanzarote we went on a couple of night dives and that was just absolutely amazing. We saw angel sharks and there was a ray that went flying underneath us – it looked to me like it was six foot wide!’

maureen at a local dive centre

As Maureen packs all her diving kit into the back of her car ready for a trip to her local dive centre in Eccleston, it’s hard to miss all the diving memorabilia around her home – mementos from trips abroad, gifts from her friends and family… On her car boot sits a sticker with the words ‘Dive Diva’.

So how do you start diving if you’re a newbie?

‘The best thing is to look local. Find a dive centre nearby! It’s quite easy to find one – just go online and look under PADI or BSAC (British Sub-Aqua Club).’

It’s obvious that diving is a major part of Maureen’s life, but what about planning for her funeral?

‘Actually I was talking about it to my daughter-in-law at the weekend. I would rather have a gathering of friends talking about the stuff they did with me that’s fun, than actually talking about anything sad.’

On top of diving and extreme sports, Maureen fills her life with adventure and new experiences, including work as a TV and film extra, and studying for a diploma in counselling.

‘You can never stop learning when you hit 50. I feel because of all the experiences I’ve had throughout my life, counselling is a good way to help people come to terms with any of their issues, and it’s very interesting to understand why you do certain things or what is important to you and why.’

So, what are the lessons learnt from those life experiences?

‘Make sure you have fun and laugh a lot. I went through years where I was very serious, and had very serious jobs, but I really think it’s important to enjoy your life.

‘The thing is not to worry about you, not to be scared of anything. Just do it… because you’ve only got one life and if you’re not smiling at least once a day and laughing, it can get quite dreary.’

Posted on 19 April 2017

SunLife offers a range of straightforward and affordable products including over 50s life insurance, funeral plans, equity release, pet insurance, home insurance, car insurance, ISAs and Will writing services.

Here's the information that you need to know about who we are and the other companies that we work with in order to provide our products and services.

Who are SunLife?

Phoenix Life Limited trades as SunLife and is the provider of the Guaranteed Over 50 Plan, SunLife Insurance and the life insurance policy payment option for Funeral Plans. Phoenix Life Limited’s registered office is at 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 1016269). Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

SunLife Limited distributes financial products and services and is a company limited by shares, registered office: 1 Wythall Green Way, Wythall, Birmingham, B47 6WG (registered in England, no. 05460862). SunLife Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and is entered on the Financial Services Register (registration no. 769427).

You can contact us by post at SunLife, PO Box 1395, Peterborough, PE2 2TR or by phone on 0800 008 6060.

If you choose to add Funeral Benefit Option to your Guaranteed Over 50 Plan the funeral services are arranged and provided by Dignity Funerals Limited. Dignity Funerals Limited is a company registered in England and Wales No. 00041598. VAT registered No. 486 6081 14. 4 King Edwards Court, King Edwards Square, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, B73 6AP. Telephone No. 0121 354 1557. Fax No. 0121 355 808. Part of Dignity plc. A British Company. Dignity is not authorised or regulated for this activity by the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority but is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

Who provides the Funeral Plans?

Dignity Funerals Ltd arranges and provides the funeral services. Dignity Funerals is not authorised or regulated for this activity by either the Financial Conduct Authority or the Prudential Regulation Authority. Dignity Funerals Ltd is a member of the National Association of Funeral Directors.

The life insurance policy that pays for your funeral will be provided by Phoenix Life Limited, trading as SunLife.

Who provides My Smarter (ISA)?

My Smarter (ISA) is provided by Scottish Friendly Asset Managers Limited. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register, registration No. 188832. Member of The Investment Association. Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ.

Who provides the Will writing services?

Hugh James is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA Number:303202).

The information contained on this website is based on Hugh James' understanding of the law of intestacy in England and Wales only as at April 2014. The law in Scotland and Northern Ireland is significantly different. This is for information purposes and is not intended to be legal advice.

Who provides Family Life Insurance?

SunLife Family Life Insurance is provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Details can be found on the Financial Services register (registration number 110002). Registered Office: Scottish Friendly House, 16 Blythswood Square, Glasgow G2 4HJ. 

Who provides SunLife Pet Insurance

SunLife Pet Insurance is arranged and administered by BDML Connect Limited. BDML Connect Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (No. 309140). Registered in England and Wales Number 02785540. Registered Office: 45 Westerham Road, Bessels Green, Sevenoaks, Kent, TN13 2QB.

Who provides SunLife Home Insurance

SunLife Home Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.

Who provides SunLife Car Insurance

SunLife Car Insurance is arranged and administered by BISL Limited and underwritten by a panel of insurers. BISL Limited are an intermediary authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England no. 03231094. Registered office Pegasus House, Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, Peterborough PE2 6YS.