War veteran sets world record in abseil from hospital roof
Colin Bell became the world’s oldest abseiler at 102 years old while raising funds for a nursing charity in thanks for the ‘invaluable dedication’ of nurses
A 102-year-old war veteran has set a new Guinness World Record by abseiling 17 storeys down a London hospital to raise money for the RCN Foundation.
Abseil was a tribute to ‘invaluable dedication' of nursing profession
Colin Bell, who served in the RAF during the second world war, said he undertook the challenge to become the world’s oldest abseiler to recognise the ‘invaluable dedication’ of the nursing profession.
The retired flight lieutenant – who flew 50 operations over wartime Germany as part of the Light Night Striking Force – abseiled down the side of the Royal London Hospital on 14 September.
He has raised more than £19,000 this year in aid of the RCN Foundation, RAF Benevolent Fund and London’s Air Ambulance Charity.
‘At 102, I've witnessed the invaluable dedication of nurses throughout my life. Their care and compassion have touched my heart, which is why I have committed to supporting the work of the RCN Foundation,’ Mr Bell said.
‘Nurses across the UK give so much, and this is my way of making a difference to the lives of those who selflessly care for us all. It is a privilege to stand by their side and help ensure that nurses continue to inspire and care for future generations.’
World record was set as Colin Bell abseiled from Europe’s highest rooftop helipad
Asked whether he was apprehensive about abseiling from the hospital’s helipad – the highest rooftop helipad in Europe – he said: ‘Abseiling is just money for old rope, though I hope it's strong rope.’
This is not the only fundraising feat Flt Lt Bell has tackled this year. In August he participated in a sponsored walk in aid of the same charities, visiting places related to his wartime role. He said it was a privilege to help support nurses, who deserved more recognition for their ‘outstanding’ work.
The previous world record was set by Doris Long in 2015, who at 101 years old abseiled down the 94 metre Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth to raise money for her local hospice.
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