Thrill-seeking grandma takes on daring abseil to raise funds

published on 14 Jul 2022

A thrill-seeking octogenarian is to take on a daring abseil to help raise money for Thirsk Salvation Army.

Jan Shaw, 81, who volunteers with the church and charity, will abseil down Brimham Rocks near Harrogate, North Yorkshire, next month.

Jan, who has two children and five grandchildren, said: “I’m one of those thrill junkies. I’m 81 and I still need to prove I’m alive!

“I have done some quite daring things in my time, like a solo parachute jump to raise money for a local football club pavilion. I have flown in aeroplanes, raced at a track day at Donnington and I’ve flown a twin-seat plane and a glider. During lockdown I did 10,000 steps a day for The Salvation Army, but I wanted to take on something a bit more exciting.”

Jan has always had a soft spot for The Salvation Army ever since her daughter was delivered in a Salvation Army hospital in the 1960s.

Jan Shaw

Jan continued: “There was a Salvation Army Major and a Captain who helped deliver my baby while my husband waited outside. That’s why I’ve always had a soft spot for them.

“When we retired, we came to Thirsk and I thought ‘what can I do?’ and the answer was The Salvation Army, so I started to help out in the shop and doing bits and pieces with the Corps Officers Majors Ian and Paula Haylett. Ian and Paula are amazing, I love them to bits.

“I’ve never done abseiling. You start with a low rock and they build you up to the height you want to go to. You’re in a harness and nothing can go wrong. I’m raring to go.”

Ian said: “Jan is a great member of our Salvation Army team, whether she is volunteering in our charity shop or helping at our Kids Community Wardrobe project supporting local families in need. She has energy and positivity and does everything with a winning smile.

"Her husband Philip is her biggest supporter and, with her beautiful dog Willow, is with her every step of the way. Go Jan!”

Jan’s abseil will take place on Saturday 6 August. She is hoping to raise £2,500. You can donate via Justgiving here.


a mother with her baby

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