Army veteran takes on 25-day charity challenge involving bungee jump, Baywatch, and Vicar of Dibley to mark final days in the forces

An army veteran from Yorkshire is completing a challenge a day for 25 days to mark her departure from the army after recovering from long Covid.

Stacey Lord, 42, from Wyke in Bradford, has spent the past 25 years in the armed forces after joining up at the age of 17.

Now, to mark her “emotional” departure from the army on July 27, she’s spending her final 25 days in the forces completing a challenge a day to raise money for SSAFA - the armed forces charity.

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Although she only decided to embark on the fundraising venture “a couple of weeks ago,” and has spent the past year living with debilitating long Covid symptoms, Stacey has come up with a varied schedule of activities to hit her £2,500 fundraising goal.

Stacey is taking on a challenge a day to raise money for an armed forces charityStacey is taking on a challenge a day to raise money for an armed forces charity
Stacey is taking on a challenge a day to raise money for an armed forces charity

Traditional fundraising activities including a 160ft bungee jump in Glasgow and a 25-mile bike ride are accompanied by a number of quirkier challenges that she hopes will make people laugh in the midst of a depressing news cycle.

“Everything on the news - the cost of living crisis, the government in chaos, Covid - everything’s miserable so I just wanted to do something a bit fun and make people laugh,” she said.

Stacey, who served in Germany, the Falklands, and Afghanistan, began the challenge on July 3 with a hilarious video of herself at the beach dressed as a Baywatch lifeguard.

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On Friday night (July 8) she is planning a Lady Godiva stunt - accompanied by her horse.

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She has some Dirty Dancing spoof videos up her sleeve, and is also planning to re-enact the iconic Vicar of Dibley scene where Dawn French as Geraldine Granger jumps into a rather deep puddle.

On July 22, 23 and 24, The Top Odd pub in Wyke will be hosting a three-day charity event as part of the challenge, with raffles, tombolas and quizzes.

Stacey said that her humorous approach to the fundraising challenge was in-part because she is finally feeling better after spending a year suffering with long Covid symptoms.

“I was tired all the time,” she said.

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“My body felt so heavy, my memory was really bad, I couldn’t string a sentence together. I genuinely began thinking this was my life now - that I would always be tired.

“Over the last couple of months things have started getting easier, and then I suddenly thought ‘I feel fine now’ and I just wanted to do something to make people laugh, raise a bit of money, and celebrate my 25 years by doing something worthwhile.”

She explained that she wanted to support SSAFA because it offers such a wide variety of services to serving soldiers and veterans.

“I can go to them for the rest of my life,” she said.

“All veterans, all serving soldiers can go to them with custody problems, relationship problems, even drug or alcohol issues, and homelessness - which a lot of squaddies do have problems with.

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“Even as much as finding a local dentist to take you on. They will help.”

Stacey added that after spending over half of her life in the army, her last day is bound to be “quite emotional”.

“They’ve provided me with lots of adventures, training, and opportunities that I’ve taken full advantage of,” she said.

“Afghanistan was obviously really tough. It’s quite tough - some of it - but it’s been a good life.”

After leaving the army, Stacey hopes to join 4 PARA - the 4th Battalion, Parachute Regiment - as a reservist and “enjoy my retirement”.