Ex-soldier from Clitheroe to conquer fear of heights and climb Blackpool's iconic Big One for hero dogs charity

Despite a debilitating fear of heights, an ex-soldier from Clitheroe is set to climb one of the world's tallest rollercoasters to raise money for hero dogs to enjoy a happy retirement.

Tuesday, 22nd June 2021, 3:45 pm

The Big One is one of Blackpool Pleasure Beach’s most well-known and popular rollercoasters. Standing at a whopping 235ft above sea level, it is still currently the tallest roller coaster in the United Kingdom.

It's certainly not for the faint hearted, but brave Adele Wilkinson, from Clitheroe is set to climb to the top on July 2nd and "enjoy" the breathtaking views for a charity close to her heart.

The 34-year-old, who served eight years in the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler/trainer and completed an operational tour of Afghanistan, now runs Jago's Pet Boutique and Spa, in Whalley Road, Clitheroe.

Brave Adele Wilkinson with her pet pooch Lexi
Brave Adele Wilkinson with her pet pooch Lexi

By walking the Big One, she aims to raise cash and awareness of Hero Paws Life After Service - a not-for-profit organisation that retrains, rehabilitates and rehomes retired military and service dogs.

Speaking about her daredevil challenge, the former pupil of Mansfield High School in Brierfield, said: "Although I may seem calm, I'm actually very nervous as I'm scared of heights and I have never done anything like this before. I booked to walk the Big One back in January as a challenge to myself as I'm a firm believer in personal growth and challenging myself to learn and to become a better person.

"I opened my own dog grooming business in April and I wanted to complete a fundraiser to help a charity, then I thought what better way to do that then to raise sponsorship for my big one walk? I'm an army veteran serving eight years in the Veterinary Corp handling and training military dogs, my salon is actually named after a military dog. I thought it was only fitting to give back to these amazing dogs - or any service/working dog- by raising money for Hero Paws Life After Service.

She added: "I'm no longer as brave as I once was when I was younger so I'm not really a fan of heights. In fact, I will no longer ride the big one as I don't like the trip up! So, I certainly won't be looking down once I reach the top next week!"

Adele is hoping to raise £200 for Hero Paws Life After Service and is urging Ribble Valley folk to dig deep and support the cause. She explained: "I really hope I can raise the target amount of £200 for the amazing charity. The ultimate goal of the charity is to set up a sanctuary where up to 50 ex-working service dogs can be cared for and trained so they can eventually find their perfect forever home. They endeavour to match the right dog with the right home, no matter how long it takes."

Anyone wishing to donate towards Adele's fundraiser is asked to CLICK HERE