Chelsea Pensioner to abseil down UK’s tallest rollercoaster

30th March 2015

Daring Chelsea Pensioner Steve ‘Tankie’ Allen (72) is to abseil down ‘The Big One’ rollercoaster in Blackpool to raise funds for the Royal Hospital Chelsea and ABF The Soldiers’ Charity.

The annual charity abseil, now in its third year, will see over 40 people descend the summit of the UK’s tallest rollercoaster on Monday 8 June. 

Tankie, who has lived at the Royal Hospital Chelsea since August 2014, said: “I decided to do this after a friend of mine Dave Watson did it. He lost an arm and both legs after being wounded in Afghanistan and I thought, well if Dave can do it so can I.

Image by ©Emerson

“I’m going to be thinking of him as I stand nervously at the top, all in aid of raising funds for both the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the best retirement home in the world to me and 300 other veterans and for The Soldiers’ Charity, who support soldiers, veterans and their families, for life.” 

Tankie joined the Army in 1962 he earned his nickname ‘Tankie’ due to his work in transporting tanks across the world. He left the Army in 1984 after 22 years of service. He is hoping to raise over £2000 by taking on the 235ft climb. 

Royal Hospital Chelsea Fundraising Manager Kate Marsh said: “The challenge Tankie is taking on is inspirational, we are all very proud of him and his commitment to raising funds for his home. The money he raises will help us continue to provide a home, comradeship and the very highest standards of care for the Chelsea Pensioners of the future.”

Martin Rutledge, Chief Executive of The Soldiers’ Charity says: "This is an incredible feat for Tankie to undertake. His support means The Soldiers’ Charity can continue its vital work helping soldiers in need and their families, and The Royal Hospital Chelsea can keep supporting our veterans in their retirement. The money raised will help to make a real difference to the quality of life for our soldiers and veterans."

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