Long way down for fundraiser Gemma

Gemma Hastie
Gemma Hastie

A Buckhaven woman will be reaching new heights next month as she abseils from the iconic Forth Rail Bridge to raise funds for Alzheimer Scotland.

Gemma Hastie (21) will tackle the drop - 165ft to be exact - on May 18, but has already kicked off her fundraising to raise money for the Scottish charity.

Gemma has already raised over £500, way above her original target, thanks to workers at Diageo and Aberhill Stagecoach Depot, as well as family and friends.

“My original aim was £200! I had no idea the amount I would raise. My aim has increased each time I’ve reached my target.

“The total amount is currently £523. I would just like to raise as much as possible to do my bit to help.”

Gemma, a Post Graduate student at Dundee University studying primary teaching, decided to raise money for Alzheimer Scotland after a family member was diagnosed with dementia .

She said: “I decided to do this abseil when I saw it advertised on Alzheimer Scotland’s website.

“The worst part about dementia is that there is no cure or anything that can make it better. It’s a condition that only gets progressively worse.

“Therefore I feel quite helpless as there’s nothing I can do to really help. I therefore decided to look for ways to raise money and awareness for Dementia and Alzheimers.”

In Scotland, around 6500 people are diagnosed with dementia every year, and it is thought there are around 86,000 people living with the disease in Scotland right now.

With just four weeks to go until the challenge, which is organised annually by the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, Gemma said she is determined to raise as much money as she can.

“Alzheimer Scotland advertise sponsored events such as bake sales and sponsored walks, however I thought that the abseil was the most unique and therefore something that would capture interest.

“I’ve never done anything like this before and have received no training whatsoever - I’m actually scared of heights! But I do think this will be an amazing experience.”

Gemma will be joined by dozens of other thrill-seekers, all eager to raise money for either Alzheimer Scotland, MacMillan Cancer Support or a charity of their choice.

An SAS style free-fall abseil, a team of highly skilled instructors from the Glasgow Climbing Centre ensure that everyone is equipped with what they need to make the day a safe an enjoyable one.

If you would like to sponsor Gemma, visit her Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/Gemma-Hastie.

Or you can donate money by text by sending RAIL81 and the amount you want to donate - e.g. RAIL81 £5 to 70070.