Quadruple Amputee Abseils Falkirk Wheel To Support STV Children’s Appeal

Falkirk Wheel visitors were met with a show today as inspirational quadruple amputee, Jamie Andrew (46), led a team of STV staff on a descent down the iconic landmark to raise funds for the STV Children’s Appeal.

After being rescued in one of the most dramatic missions in the history of the Alps, the Scottish mountaineer has been taking on mountains and marathons, raising thousands of pounds for charities across the UK.

Jamie Andrew said: “I’m always looking for new ways to push myself to the limit for fantastic causes. Having lost both my hands and both my feet, most people thought obstacles like this would be impossible, after every challenge I complete I hope to show people that if you really set your mind to it nothing is impossible!”

“Having climbed to great heights over the years, I knew this would be a tough challenge, you don’t realise how high the Wheel actually is! But knowing the money I’ve raised will help children in Scotland, I was determined to complete the challenge.”

At a height of 35 metres (115ft) tall, equating to eight double decker busses, the Falkirk Wheel was no match for Jamie. STV camera crews were on hand to capture the challenge for the STV Children’s Appeal live programme that will be broadcast on STV later in the year.

Elizabeth Partyka of the STV Children’s Appeal said: “We are delighted Jamie has chosen to support the Appeal again this year. His positive outlook and sheer determination to push himself to the limit for charity is incredibly inspiring and we’re always excited to see what new heights he will achieve next! I hope people across the country get behind Jamie’s challenge by making a donation to the Appeal, so we can continue to help children affected by poverty right here in Scotland.”

Long term supporters of the Appeal, Tunnock’s, have sponsored Jamie £5,000 to complete the challenge which will be revealed in the Appeal programming later in the year.

Fergus Loudon, sales manager of Tunnock’s said: “The STV Children’s Appeal is a cause very close to our hearts and we are proud to be able to support the Appeal again this year. Jamie is a hugely inspirational individual, and we are delighted to be a part of this year’s challenge.”

After today’s Falkirk Wheel abseil, Jamie will be getting ready to tackle the second part of his challenge, a canoeing expedition from Kenmore to Aberfeldy on Saturday 5th September.

Steve Dunlop, chief executive of Scottish Canals, said; “We are pleased to be able to provide Jamie with a globally renowned landmark as the backdrop for his daunting challenge. Jamie’s story is one of triumph over adversity and we’re proud to be supporting his efforts to raise funds for the STV Children’s Appeal. The charity does great work across Scotland and we’re glad to be helping it again this year.”

For further information, please contact the STV press office:-

Gemma Higlett

0141 300 3296


Notes to Editors


The STV Children’s Appeal is committed to helping children and young people affected by poverty in Scotland. The money raised by the STV Children’s Appeal helps make a real difference in the lives of Scotland’s children and young people by providing practical help like food and warm clothes; creating opportunities for training and employability; and enabling social and emotional support for those who need it most.

In its first four years the Appeal has raised over £8.2 million. This has allowed us to make 297 big and small grants to projects across all 32 local authority areas in Scotland, providing much needed support to over 37,000 children.

The charity was launched in 2011 by The Hunter Foundation and STV.  In 2013, The Wood Foundation pledged its support to the Appeal for projects in the North East.

Every single penny raised by the STV Children’s Appeal stays in Scotland and 100% of donations are spent on the children who need it most, as all overheads are met by STV and The Hunter Foundation. In 2015, the Scottish Government once again committed to match fund the first £1m raised.


STV Appeal SCIO SC042429


Scotland’s busiest tourist attraction out with a city centre location, The Falkirk Wheel attracts visitors from all over the world keen to marvel at the working sculpture which combines modern engineering and technology with ancient principles set out by Archimedes more than 2000 years ago.

When one of the structure’s gondolas is lowered, the opposite one rises, keeping the vast, 1800 tonne boat lift in perfect balance as it carries canal barges 35 metres into the air in a matter of minutes. Each gondola holds 500,000 litres of water – enough to fill an Olympic swimming pool. Incredibly, because of the design and application of balance and weight, it takes just 1.5kWh – the same power as it would take to boil eight domestic kettles – for each rotation.

So iconic is its design, the International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ (FIDIC) – an organisation representing consulting engineers in more than 80 countries – judged the Wheel, alongside the likes of the Hoover Dam and The Channel Tunnel, as one of the most significant civil engineering projects of the last hundred years.

Opened in 2002 as part of The Millennium Link, a £78 million project that restored Scotland’s inland waterways to a navigable state for the first time since the 1960s, the Wheel replaced a flight of 11 locks that once stepped the Union Canal down to the level of the Forth & Clyde over a distance of 1.5 kilometres and took more than a day to traverse. The Falkirk Wheel allows vessels to transit between the two waterways in just a few minutes.

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