Abseil for Charity

On the afternoon of 2nd April, Will Dennis and his son Dave abseiled nearly 100 metres down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth for charity. This all started with a pledge of £1,000 from a friend, for the chosen charities, next came a charity disco with flashbacks to the sixties, seventies and eighties, greatly enjoyed by all who attended, then the jaw-dropping big abseil came.  The pictures taken by Anna Darnell give some idea of the scale and the sense of relief and relaxation after the event.

Will gave us a flavour of the day:

“Waiting to abseil was probably worse than the abseil itself. We were taken up to the viewing platform of the Spinnaker Tower, the middle of which has a glass floor (just looking at which terrified me), and kitted out with harnesses which were eye-wateringly tight around the crotch. Then down a flight of stairs to the abseil platform itself, which looked like, and indeed probably was, just a metal balcony bolted on the side of the building as an afterthought.

The staff were very professional, explaining every detail while you are dangling in space next to the trainer, too late to back out.  After that it is simply a question of letting the rope through your hands at a speed you are comfortable with, bouncing off the wall as you go. The smell of burning from the rope as it went through the carabiner was slightly disconcerting, but by that stage, I was very close to the bottom and felt it would probably last. I cannot in all honesty, however, say that it was an experience I would want to repeat immediately. But then John Banfield produced some rather good prosecco and the day suddenly seemed worthwhile.

Thanks are due to a whole load of people. My wife Annie for all her organisation and support; my son Dave for coming with me on the abseil and his wife Lucy for letting him; Dave Pollard for the loan of his awesome PA system to power the fundraiser charity disco; Martin Cox for the light and the dance moves; Annie’s work colleagues for inexhaustible energy on the dance floor; Jim Evans for the barrel of beer and my daughter Alice for the cider; Graham, Speedie, Bucky, Jamie and Nick for running the bar and helping set up and take down the chairs and tables; Barbara and Peter Goodall, Deanna and Anna Darnell and Ian and Jill Wright for coming to watch the abseil; Anna also for the beautiful disco banner and the photography; Mary Banfield, Sue Raby, Julia Siberry, Liz Absalom and Jenny Hudlass who hosted Lent lunches at which charity donations were collected; and above all John and Mary Banfield for having the idea, putting up the funding and hosting us in Portsmouth.

Our original target of matching Mary’s generous donation of £1,000 has been massively exceeded and at the time of writing we have raised more than £4,000 in all, to be split between the four charities, so our final thanks are to the many generous donors.”

Thank you Will for your impeccable bravery and incredible good humour throughout the challenge.  The money raised will go a long way in Darfur.  It will help us ensure families have accessible clean water supplies, and children have nutritious goat’s milk to drink.  Your bravery will be life changing.

If you are reading this and would feel brave enough to take on a challenge, please do get in touch with us – don’t delay, do it today and you won’t regret it!