Help for Heroes - a worthy cause

A 73-year-old Belper man abseiled over 80 ft in a bid to raise cash for the military charity Help for Heroes.

Roy Snape, of Whitemoor Lane, took the plunge at Black Rocks in Cromford on Saturday.

Roy said: “It went fine - in fact I went up and down twice. The hardest part was getting to the top! At my age it takes a bit of time.

“I thought it was great. I really enjoyed it. The main thing that worried me was the rain - you had to be a bit careful as you went over the edge!”

Roy carried out his National Service in Cyprus from 1958 to 1960 during a period of sectarian violence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

He said: “It was a bit rough. I saw my fair share of action. When I was in the army myself I saw people injured and killed. I saw the effects of it.

“These lads are doing something for us. They come back here without limbs and we should be in the position to help them. That’s why I’m doing it.

“I think they could be treated a lot better than they are being treated. It’s a very difficult job and when they come out they ought to be looked up to - because they are heroes.”

Derbyshire born and bred Roy worked as a manufacturer’s agent before ‘semi-retiring’ and currently has a part-time job.

And this isn’t the first time Roy has raised cash for charity. His wife Mavis was a nurse and Roy completed a parachute jump in aid of Mencap.

He said: “I thought ‘I’ve done that, I’ve got to do something else - an abseil seems about the right thing. I’m confident I’ll manage it.’”

Mavis said: “I was worried. Roy said ‘Well it’s me that doing it.’ He’s got confidence! But the last time he did something like this was 50 years ago in the army. Now he’s done it he’s wondering what to do next! We are all very proud of him.”

Roy’s daughter, Dawn, son-in-law Mick and granddaughter Lia, as well as son Darren and his partner Maureen turned out to cheer him on.

Darren, 43, said: “I’ll be honest with you, I’m very proud of him. He’s not in brilliant health. But nothing stops him from doing the things he wants.

“I think he’s trying to give a bit back to the lads who fight our causes.”

The abseil was organised by Chesterfield-based Blue Mountain Activities and Roy received sponsorship from Belper businesses Fresh Basil and the Durham Ox.