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Blog: An intrepid MSP's fundraising abseil for Age Scotland

Graham Simpson

12 June 2024

Graham Simpson MSP explains why he's taking the plunge from the Forth Bridge on Sunday to raise funds for Age Scotland:

It’s election time and politicians are doing all kinds of silly things.

On Sunday, it’s my turn - I am doing one of these daredevil stunts but it was arranged well before the election and has nothing to do with winning votes. With some trepidation, I will ease myself over the edge of the Forth Bridge, held on by a rope and – hopefully – lower myself about 165ft to the ground.

This abseil is in aid of Age Scotland and yes, I jumped at the chance to do it.

I have abseiled before but not since my 20s. I did a previous charity abseil off a tower block in South Shields for Comic Relief. Now I am in the same age bracket as the older people that Age Scotland helps and should know better.

Graham Simpson MSP abseiling

Older people in Scotland face many challenges. There are record levels of loneliness and isolation, with more than 200,000 over 50s saying they are lonely all or most of the time.

Hundreds of thousands of pensioners struggle for money. Three quarters of over 50s are squeezed by their rising household bills.

Age Scotland’s national helpline, which offers advice, information, friendship and support, last year identified more than £1.5m in unclaimed social security. The charity’s friendship line supports those in need of a friendly chat and listening ear.

There are also more than 70 free information guides of a wide range of issues affecting older people, available online or paper copies can be posted.

At the moment, I don’t need help from Age Scotland, but I want to support the work they do for those in need.

I will be delighted to take the plunge for them on Sunday.

Please support Graham's fundraising

You can donate to Graham's abseil fundraiser here: