Deaf, blind Charlie takes the big drop for charity

Charlie Crawford, deaf blind resident at Craigview Sheltered Housing
Charlie Crawford, deaf blind resident at Craigview Sheltered Housing

A DEAF and blind pensioner performed a daredevil stunt on Saturday jumping off the Forth Rail Bridge for charity.

Charlie Crawford (68), a resident at Craigview sheltered housing in Bo’ness, was among dozens of people abseiling off the rail bridge for charity, four of whom, like Charlie, were jumping for the charity Deafblind UK.

However the difference was Charlie (pictured, right) was the only blind/deaf person doing the jump and, far from being daunted, he said: “I couldn’t see the drop so I wasn’t too nervous.”

Craigview manager Marian Reynolds said she was worried enough for both of them, adding: “The most terrifying part for me was when his friend Neville guided Charlie along the metal pathway at the top of the bridge.

“My heart was in my mouth. I think that’s possibly the scariest thing he has done but he does a lot for charity including walking guide dog puppies, sponsored walks and running a hotdog stand.

“He is extremely generous with his money and his time as well as being a very trusting individual.

“He has to trust his own guide dog Walton, his white stick, other people and, of course, his own judgement.”

Charlie made the jump from the 110metre high bridge and raised £444 for Deafblind UK.

Deafblind UK’s initiatives officer, Drena O’Mally was at the bridge to support Charlie in his daring stunt. She said: “It was really scary just watching him up there. Charlie wanted the money to go towards our latest project, Field of Dreams, a bespoke building specially designed for people with severe sensory impairment.” She added: “It may well be our first bungee jumper who is deaf and blind. More so is the fact that he is no spring chicken at 68 years of age.”