AT 82 you might expect David Cummings to be taking things easy, but the pensioner joined dozens of people in a charity abseil at the Great Western Hospital on Saturday.

As part of the hospital’s 10th anniversary celebrations, people were invited to take part in a 90-foot abseil off its roof.

Mr Cummings, of Old Town, is recovering from throat cancer and has had cataracts surgery, and wanted to give something back to the ‘fantastic staff’ at the hospital.

It was the third abseil he had taken part in, the others being at the County Ground for the British Stroke Association and at the WH Smith building, in Greenbridge, for the Wiltshire Blind Association.

Because of the cataracts surgery Mr Cummings was going through at the time, he completed the abseil at the County Ground blind, making Saturday’s task a lot easier.

He was so confident he was even helping staff members who found the whole experience a bit more daunting.

He said: “It was brilliant. There were quite a few nurses participating in their uniforms as well, which added to the fun, and there was a large crowd.

“Because I am 82, I have had a lot of wonderful health care from our hospital.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the work of our hospital and its fantastic staff.

“For quite a few of the nurses this was their first time and it looks a lot higher when you are up there. I was telling them there was nothing to it and helping them through it.”

Mr Cummings, who performs in the choir at Christ Church, raised more than £400 for the hospital, which was thought to be the highest from any individual.

Fundraising manager Hannah Persaud said: “We had a fantastic response from staff and members of the public as we celebrate our 10th anniversary.

“Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust’s charitable fund makes a huge difference to staff and patients.”