International Women’s Day Spotlight: Army veteran and fundraising legend, Gina Allsop

Army veteran, Gina Allsop is a charity fundraiser, an adventurer, a volunteer with the Army Cadets, a volunteer Marine Mammal Medic, and campaigns for improved mental health.

Gina does all this despite personal adversity. She has seen friends killed in action, her brother died of cancer, she has sustained many injuries, through service and sport yet she continues to use all her experiences, and her free time, to help others.

Gina said:

“I’ve been in uniform since I was 13. I joined the Army Cadets which was the root of it all. From there I became an adult instructor, and then joined up officially aged 19 after my A-levels. I did 11 years, mainly in the Royal Signals. I left in 2006.”

Gina went on to have a successful career in close protection, bodyguarding for high profile individuals in the US and UK. She started to struggle with her mental health after she had a bike accident and her brother died of cancer in quick succession. Gina turned to SSAFA, who supported her, and since then Gina has fundraised tirelessly for the charity, raising thousands of pounds.

In April Gina will be attempting the Scotland 300 – roughly 100 miles kayaking, 100 miles walking and 100 miles cycling. The challenge will take three weeks and Gina is doing the whole thing unsupported, meaning that she will drop her equipment off at waypoints, then start the epic adventure alone, carrying everything she needs. She will be wild camping throughout, with no back-up if the weather turns rough.

Gina said:

“I’m doing this challenge solo to highlight that loneliness is one of the biggest killers in the UK. Veterans and military personnel can be very proud, and often don’t want to ask for help. I hope just one person sees me doing this, and knows I’ll be lonely, and thinks, “Maybe it’s time for me to reach out for help too.””.

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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