This may be hands down the wackiest fundraiser you've seen

This may be hands down the wackiest fundraiser you've seen

Gymnast raises cash for Fire Fighters Charity
11 July 2016

A fundraising gymnast says collecting donations for the Fire Fighters Charity is so easy she can do it standing on her head – and she is.

Justine Allingham, 24, has vowed to do a handstand every day for a year to raise money for the good cause and will finish the quest next month.

She has completed more than 330 so far and has already beaten her initial target of £100.

The licensing officer from Porchester says she wanted to do something to support the charity because her stepdad, Ian Harper, is a firefighter in Fareham for Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service.

She has picked out special places across the county, including several fire stations, Winchester Cathedral and Hampshire’s Ageas Bowl cricket stadium, for her handstands, several of which she has captured on camera or video.

The former martial artist has also done a handstand in a polling station during the recent European Union referendum and another with the Great South Run as a backdrop.

In other shots she appears upside down on a bouncy castle, on a slide in a child’s playground, in a wrestling ring and on an escalator.

However, the most important handstand, she said, was in Kent, in a vineyard where her grandfather’s ashes had been scattered.

Another memorable handstand was at Fareham Fire Station, where she was joined by a firefighter and then drenched in water.

She said:

“My connection with the fire service is through my stepdad, and it is through him that I know how much they do.

“The work they do every day at Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is amazing.

“I think it takes a very special kind of person to do the things they do and risk their lives to keep other people safe. They are heroes.”

Justine is hoping to raise more money, and says people can donate on her JustGiving page.

The Fire Fighters Charity’s support programmes include rehabilitation, recuperation, psychological aid and nursing.

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