ROYAL Wootton Bassett couple Allison and Steve Bucknell are preparing to challenge themselves for Wiltshire Air Ambulance by abseiling down Avon Gorge in Bristol.

They are among several people who have signed up for the event, which takes place on Sunday, April 14.

Allison, 59, who is a Wiltshire councillor for the Lyneham division and is in her second term as chairman of Wiltshire Council, has not abseiled before but her husband, 52, a Royal Wootton Bassett town councillor and twice former mayor, has done so.

Allison said: “I have done a tandem parachute jump and I was looking for something a little bit different and challenging to do as I’m about to turn 60, so the abseil is ideal.

“I support Wiltshire Air Ambulance, including through the Royal Wootton Bassett & District Rotary Club. The work that the charity does is amazing. I know quite a few people who have been airlifted and the people who work there are so dedicated.”

Steve, who used to live in Redland in Bristol and is a chartered surveyor, has abseiled down Cheddar Gorge. He and his wife are also bell ringers at St Bartholomew’s Church, Royal Wootton Bassett.

He said: “As bell ringers we are used to holding on to the end of a rope, although this will be somewhat different! I’m looking forward to the abseil and seeing Avon Gorge from a different perspective.”

This is the first time that Wiltshire Air Ambulance has organised an abseil and there is still time to book a place.

Kenresa Stratford, events co-ordinator at Wiltshire Air Ambulance, said: “We’re delighted that Allison and Steve Bucknell are taking part in our abseil. The event should be an unforgettable experience, with views of the iconic Avon Gorge and the Clifton Suspension Bridge.

“We are working with qualified instructors from JT Expeditions who will guide our participants down safely. This is an ideal event for people who want to challenge themselves while at the same time raising funds for Wiltshire Air Ambulance. There are still places available, so if you would like to take part please contact us.”

It costs just £25 to sign up to the abseil and participants are asked to raise a minimum of £100 in sponsorship.

For more information about the abseil and other events to get involved in, including a skydive on June 2 and a Snowdon Triple Challenge on June 8. Visit the website or call the charity team on 01225 300536.