Dangling Dads to abseil down gorge
GRANDAD Paul Rabbits has been roped in for a daring abseil down the Avon Gorge to raise money for a school playground.
The PTA sponsored stunt for Wraxall C of E Primary School involves jumping 200ft off the cliff face with a 16-strong team called the Dangling Dads.
The pensioner has the support of his family and outdoor activities company Sheer Adventure for the abseil tomorrow.
Daughter Vicky Chapman, who is chairman The Friends of Wraxall School Association, said: "I have 'roped' my dad in although he is 64 this June. He is now retired from his job as an area manager with the National Blood Service but works as a part-time magistrate.
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"My children Jessica, six, and Jake, five, will be at the bottom watching Grampy come down and still can't believe he is doing it.
"He would have liked to have participated in the skydive but wasn't allowed by my mum Sue."
The Friends of Wraxall School Association need more than £28,000 including the VAT to make their sloping field, which is full of rabbit holes, fit for sports.
Vicky said: "For a small school with only 100 children this is a very significant amount of money for any PTA to raise, but we know fixing the playground would greatly improve the sporting development for our children and future generations.
"After school sports clubs are very limited and the children can only use the field in the summer months due to poor drainage.
In September last year a team of 10 mums and dads raised £8,400 from a sponsored skydive, the community has donated £1,200, car boot sales made another £600 and cake sales and film nights have added to the total.
The FWSA received £290 from the Waitrose Community Matters Scheme, £500 from the Masonic Lodge; a fine dining night organised by parents Johnny and Romany Hazell made £1,005.
Cash has also been raised from a summer barbecue, Christmas fair and quiz nights.
Vicky said: "We are now at the £19,000 mark but still have some way to go.
"The abseil is timed for 1.30pm and afterwards the whole school has been invited to a picnic and drinks on The Downs."
Paul is joined on the abseil by son-in-law Alex Chapman, Bob Bratley, Scott Brookman, Guillaume Chanoit, Jay Haywood, Johnny Hazell, Mark Heeley, Ian Fudge, Martin Kendon, Stuart Marshall, Dan Milnor, Ben O'Connor, Rob Pilley, Mick Thomson, Ian Slark and Louise Fry.
Vicky added: "Mum Louise is another who would have liked to have taken part in the skydive but unfortunately signed up too late.
"She would love to have supported the school so this is why she is the token lady on the abseil."
People wishing to support the school can go to www.justgiving.com/danglingdads.