Scaling the heights of Blackpool’s Big One is the tall order Pauline Royle has set herself.
Retired teacher Pauline, from Carleton, has been motivated to climb 420 steps to the 235ft summit of Britain’s tallest rollercoaster by the 76 vulnerable children who are being given a home and hope at Children of Watamu’s Happy House Children’s Home in Kenya.
Pauline, who sponsors Happy House child Jane, aged 11, said: “I started sponsoring Jane at the beginning of this year. She’s a very clever young lady. She likes dancing and seems to have a real twinkle in her eye.”
Pauline is hoping to raise £500 from walking the Big One on Friday, October 11.
“I have tried to do something scary every now and again – I think it is good for the soul to be challenged.
“It involves walking up 420 steps to a height of 235 feet, with five other people. The first time I went on the Big One (as a passenger) as we trundled up I thought ‘Oh, this isn’t so bad’ – that was before the whoosh down.
“I suspect walking down may be more difficult. There are two things I don’t like at height and I’ve a feeling this walk is going to supply both in buckets.
“I don’t like things I can feel swaying about; I could feel the Eiffel Tower move. And I don’t enjoy walking across things with gaps where I can look down. I have this weird feeling things precious to me are going to undo themselves and fall off – like my watch, rings, and earrings. I shall leave them all at home and wear contact lenses.”
Pauline is determined to complete her challenge. “When I decide to do something, I do it and it would be very difficult to lose face now so many people know. So the more people who sponsor me the more it will help and I can’t let down the Happy House.”
Pauline was inspired to help the Happy House after hearing a talk to a Wyre U3A group by Dr Steve Cushing, who completed the world’s toughest marathon, the Marathon des Sables, for the charity founded by former Blackpool hotelier Sue Hayward.
She said: “After looking it up on the website, what Sue has managed to do has fascinated and amazed me. Most people would have said ‘oh look at that poor little thing’ and walked on and forgotten. She didn’t walk on.
“Then reading the blog about the daily happenings and costs involved made me want to help.
“I have found being a sponsor is more than just opening a standing order. It is being able to get to know the child and have real interaction, writing letters and emails, getting their school reports, seeing photographs.” To sponsor Pauline visit www.justgiving.com/Pauline-Royle or text giving account HHPR73 followed by amount to be donated to 70070.
To find out more about the Happy House visit www.childrenofwatamu.net