A Long Clawson church bellringer has begun his challenge to live alone in a cramped belfry for an entire week, in an attempt to highlight the loneliness many elderly people suffer.
John Adcock (64) hopes to raise about £2,000 for Age UK Leicester Shire and Rutland from his efforts at St Remigius Church in the village.
He is living in a tiny space which is only 12ft square and will leave only to use the toilet downstairs in the main part of the historic building.
Mr Adcock, who is the church’s ringing master, scaled a precarious 30ft steel ladder today (Friday) to get into the bell tower and begin his fundraiser.
Before starting his challenge, he told the Melton Times: “I shall spend a week largely, if not completely, on my own, in the same way that many elderly people spend a great deal of their time in isolation.
“I’ve decided to do this because it is something completely different. It’s going to be a real test of staying power but I’m determined to finish it because it is for a very good cause.”
The bells will not toll while John, a former manager at Melton’s Barclays bank, is staying in the tower because of the extreme noise he would have to suffer while sleeping below them. Electricity will only be available during the day and he plans to take a radio and his mobile phone with him in case of emergencies.
His daughter Jackie Parlby, who lives in Melton, will bring him two meals a day but she will be the only person he sees now until the end of the effort next Friday.