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A Big Issue seller abseiled down the college where he got his GCSEs to raise cash for charity

Plymouth seller Clive raised £300 a year after he hit the headlines for achieving his dream of getting his maths and English language GCSEs.

Big Issue vendor Clive abseil

Big Issue vendor Clive took on the charity challenge despite being terrified of heights. Image: Sue Owen

Popular Big Issue vendor Clive has taken on his fear of heights to raise funds for charity by abseiling down the college where he passed his GCSEs.

The Plymouth seller hit the headlines last summer when he achieved his dream of getting his grades for maths and English language at City College Plymouth.

Now the 60-year-old magazine seller has raised almost £300 for the college’s charitable effort by abseiling 114 feet down the side of the tower block while dressed in his signature red Big Issue tabard.

Clive, who is now taking a Level 3 course in theatre production and creative arts at the college, said: “I came back to college as an adult learner and I’ve never felt so included.

“My confidence is sky high and today I took on an abseil – something I have never done before, partly due to being terrified of heights. 

“When I got up there I couldn’t even look over the edge without my stomach doing somersaults. But once I was fixed on the end of a rope I felt confident that I was alright.

“It went really well. In fact I zipped down really fast and I almost wished I’d gone slower. It was over really fast. I have loved being able to raise this money for two brilliant charities.”

Clive joined more than 50 students, staff and invited guests in taking on the challenge on June 15. Overall, the stunt raised £3,600 to be shared between Plymouth Hospitals Charity and fellow charity Friends and Families.

Chaz Talbot, the college’s student experience manager, said: “Throughout the year we hold special events that allow our students to try something new or to challenge themselves, and many of our students expressed interest in a final fundraising push for our two nominated charities.

Big Issue vendor Clive abseil
Clive (third from left) joined over 50 students, staff and invited guests in the charity abseil. Image: City College Plymouth

“Abseils down the side of the college have taken place in the past but not for many years. Knowing we wanted to make this a day to remember we decided that an abseil would form the central part of a big charity day that everyone could get involved with, even if they didn’t choose to abseil themselves.”

Donations to Clive’s total can be made here.

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