Descending to raise pounds

18 intrepid supporters of a local hospice bravely abseiled down the side of the tallest sculpture in the UK on Sunday 20th September to help raise more than £6,000 to help fund care for people with a life-limiting illness.
Pic A ArcelorMittal Orbit (cropped)
In glorious autumn sunshine the abseilers, including teams from McDonald's Romford, Barclays Bank in Canary Wharf, and the Harold Wood Running club, braved the 80 metre drop from the top of the ArcelorMittal Orbit in Stratford as they raised money for Saint Francis Hospice.
Pic I long way down for Ashleigh Harper

Also taking the plunge was 61 year old father of two Michael Rogers. He signed up to complete the abseil with his 20 year old niece Charlotte Joseph from Ilford (pictured) because he was so grateful to the hospice for looking after his wife Ilona before she died of breast cancer in 2009 and he's determined to ensure other people and their families benefit from the charity's excellent service.

"The hospice was fantastic to my wife and my family. They went beyond the call of duty."

"They were caring, understanding and considerate" said Michael, who lives in Harlow.

Another brave abseiler was the former head teacher at Chigwell Junior Independent School. Jenny Gwinn, 65, (pictured below about to make her descent) was determined to conquer her fear of heights: 

"It was a big effort and I'm very frightened of heights and to be honest it was such a relief to get down. I'm incredibly proud of myself! The thing that made it all worthwhile was the money that I was able to raise - with gift aid it came to more than £3,000!" she said.

Pic I long way down for Ashleigh Harper
Gerry Byrne the owner of McDonald's Romford is a regular supporter of the hospice through the Saint Francis Hospice Business Alliance and he said: "I'm so proud of the girls who happily gave up their Sunday morning to raise over £2,000 for a great local charity." 

Anne Brown, Head of Fundraising at Saint Francis Hospice said; "We were so lucky to have such a beautiful day for the abseil."

"All of those taking part were so brave and we are so grateful for all the money they have helped raise to fund the work of our nurses and doctors."

Pic I long way down for Ashleigh Harper

The team from McDonald's Romford. From L to R: Amiee Bliss, Elishaya O'Neale, Jo Brooks, and Ashleigh Harper.

Pic I long way down for Ashleigh Harper

Thanks to volunteer photographer Peter Henwood for photographs