Cliffhanger Abseil Fundraiser: A Garden for Alice.

On 8 June 2024, I took part in the ‘Cliffhanger Abseil’ challenge organised by the League of Friends charity at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Gobowen. League of Friends is a charity that raises money to improve and maintain high quality patient care at RJAH.

I was invited to take part as I have previously had the privilege of volunteering on a few occasions with the charity. The purpose of the challenge was to raise funds for RJAH charities, and more specifically the Garden for Alice project. This project promises to create a safe space to promote healing and wellbeing for the paediatric patients at RJAH staying on Alice ward.

I was initially quite hesitant to take part in the challenge as I had not really done abseiling before. I am not afraid of heights and I have previously done some indoor climbing but 150 feet was much higher than any of the walls I have ascended at the climbing wall. However, eventually (after some encouragement from the head of our department!) I decided to take part. I tried not to think about the challenge too much in the weeks leading up to it.

I didn’t sleep well at all the night before the challenge and I felt very nervous in the morning. When I saw how high the crane was that we were abseiling from I did slightly regret my decision to take part! However, one of the first volunteers who completed the abseil was a lady in her 80s so I felt like I couldn’t back out.

After waiting for what felt like an eternity, I was strapped into a crate and then I ascended to the top of the crane with a few other participants. It was very cold at the top, which showed just how high up we were. The hardest part of the challenge was initially stepping out of the crate. I had to lean backwards with my feet touching the crate and then I just had to push off and descend. I was able to control how fast I went down and I had thought that I would just want to get to the bottom as fast as possible, but I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it! The view was absolutely amazing so I decided not to rush and to take it a bit more slowly. The applause and atmosphere when I reached the bottom was incredible, I would definitely do it again!

I am thrilled to announce that I raised £430 for RJAH! I have been blown away by the support I have received. I am so proud that this money will be donated to such a worthy cause. I am excited to be able to visit the Garden for Alice once it is complete. I know this will be such an important project and space for children and will really make a difference to them during their time in hospital.

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