Abseilers face their fear for Hospice charity

Retiree Jennifer Benyon-Tinker has worked in IT in various capacities, including many years in IT Career Placement. She also worked as a carer for people with learning difficulties, for four years.

Kat Hanouskova is a palliative care doctor at Princess Alice Hospice, the charity for whom the women are abseiling down the Broadgate Tower on September 15.

Jennifer has always tended to support charities linked to cancer – and first abseiled 20 years ago off the Fujitsu building in Bracknell, then in a Guinness World Record event at Twickenham Stadium in 2006, followed by Canary Wharf in 2007.

Kat is stepping off the 165-metre building for a challenge the like of which is completely unknown in her home country of Czech Republic, where she will return in two months’ time.

Abseilers face their fear for Hospice charity
Kat Hanouskova

Kat said:

“People will maybe run a marathon for charity – but challenges such as this, or skydiving, are just not part of the culture, it’s difficult getting the message across – just exactly what I’m doing – and why!”

Jennifer’s motivation is to support the Hospice because of the care and support offered to people at the end of their lives, along with their families. She’s doing the challenge in memory of her close friend Nina, and as a tribute to her brother, Christopher Whitwell, who died very unexpectedly in July.

Abseilers face their fear for Hospice charity
Jennifer Benyon-Tinker

Jennifer said:

“In some respects, it is often harder for the family and friends than the person with cancer and places like the Princess Alice Hospice allow people to die with dignity as well as offering the loved ones counselling and support.”

Kat, a mum of two young children, is facing the fear because she has so enjoyed working at the Hospice during the past year and wanted to mark that with something special.

Kat said:

“One of the reasons I’ve decided to do this is that I really like the idea of this for me very ‘challenging challenge’ and feelings I have (and hopefully after I complete it) will be connected to Princess Alice forever.”

What the two women do have in common is their trepidation about the event.

On her Justgiving page, Jennifer said:

“I am scared of heights and do not enjoy abseiling but feel I should do something that makes me face up to my fears. I hope the guys up the top don’t tell me not to look down or I might push them over the edge! Look down – don’t they realise that if I looked down I would stay at the top forever?

“Who in their right mind would step off a building when they are that far off the ground?”

Kat did some abseiling and skydiving some years ago in the Antipodes and said:

“I was always afraid of heights if I wasn’t attached to anything and I would say it is getting worse. I was always first on all sorts of rollercoasters but actually, not that much anymore.

“I have this completely mixed feeling about the abseil. I am very excited but petrified at the same time. Looking forward? Definitely. Worried that I will freeze – yes indeed!”

Both have a Justgiving page for anyone who’d like to sponsor them.