Daring veterans get set to go over the edge for Change Step
A DARING DUO OF MILITARY VETERANS – with a combined age of 161 – are getting set to abseil Llandudno’s Great Orme for specialist support project Change Step.
Fearless Keith Jones, 82, and Lawrence Clayton, 79, will lower themselves over the edge to raise funds for the peer mentoring service for former members of the UK Armed Forces later this month.
Both have benefitted from Change Step’s Aged Veterans project, which offers dedicated help for ex-service personnel aged 65 or over and their families across Conwy and Denbighshire.
‘Like a new recruit’
Former Commando Keith, from Llandudno, said he loved attending the programme of regular events and weekly meetings at the resort’s Troop Café.
Since joining the project the widower has been able to attend a Royal Marines reunion in Lympstone – and said hearing the band play on his former parade ground made him feel like he was a 17-year-old new recruit once more.
“I used to love abseiling and all the physical activities when I was in the Marines, so when I was told about this abseil, ‘I said I’ll do it!’
“I’ve been on pins over whether the doctor would sign a note for me – but I’ve been passed fit, and he’s told me if I go back with my form then he’ll sponsor me! Once a Marine, always a Marine – we never give in.”
“I’ve always wanted to do something like this – and I’ll have a go at anything.
“I never knew anything like Change Step existed, but it’s good to be able to talk to people who have had similar experiences.”
Supported by the Royal British Legion’s Aged Veterans Fund and delivered in partnership with Age Connects North Wales Central and mental health charity Hafal, Change Step Aged Veterans supports older military veterans through events and activities, one-to-one support, telephone and community befriending, digital inclusion training and much more.
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Change Step is working with qualified instructors at Great Orme Vertical and staff at the Rest and Be Thankful café to deliver the fundraising event, which is suitable for both experienced abseilers and complete beginners, on Sunday October 28.
Vital and effective
Keen supporters with a head for heights have until Thursday October 25 to register for the event. Participants are asked to pay a £20 registration fee and raise a minimum of £50.
All the money raised will be used to support the vital and effective peer mentoring service delivered by Change Step.
Since being launched in 2014, Change Step has supported more than 1,700 veterans and their families. In total, veterans supported by the project have given more than 10,000 years services to the UK Armed Forces.
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