TWENTY brave people took the plunge in darkness last week, dropping from the British Airways i360 on Brighton seafront.
The abseil was held on a beautiful clear evening and raised over £11,500 for Rockinghorse, the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.
The iDrop, operated by Wire and Sky, was held in the evening so the brave participants were lowered from the open pod doors 450ft from the ground in darkness. This made for a stunning view with all the lights along Brighton seafront and the pier twinkling below them.
The participants in the night-time abseil included several nurses from the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and a consultant from the Royal Sussex County Hospital. Each one of them had supporters cheering them on from the ground who watched them glide down from the pod.
One of the first to return to solid ground was Adam Marshall, a teacher from Hove Park School. Adam decided to take on the challenge after hearing about the loss of funding the charity was experiencing.
“It’s been such a difficult year for so many people and whilst I have been giving to charity myself, I wanted to do more. I thought this was a great chance to raise money for a great cause along with challenging myself. It certainly was a once in a lifetime experience!”
Adam earned the top individual fundraiser prize after he managed to raise over £1,100 for Rockinghorse. He was blown away by the support he received especially from his colleagues and pupils at school.
“Everyone has been so generous with their donations. The kids and staff have really got behind my efforts, I even got a cheer from my form group when they found out how much I had raised! I really want to thank all of them for their amazing support.”
Another participant, Martin Duff, is an A&E Consultant at the Sussex Royal Hospital. Martin loves a challenge and when he heard about this iDrop, he thought it was the perfect way to satisfy his daredevil instincts alongside raising money for charity. Martin, dressed as Duff man from the Simpsons, had a great time.
“Dropping out of the pod at night was fantastic. You couldn’t tell how far up you were in the dark! Working in the hospital I see the amazing work that the Royal Alex does for so many children, so I was really pleased to be able to support them.”
Mollie Meredith, Fundraising Co-ordinator for Rockinghorse, accompanied the abseilers in the pod and, along with the team from Wire and Sky, helped them prepare for the jump.
“Everyone was in really good spirits, despite the nerves, and it was lovely that everyone was able to support each other.”
Mollie, along with the rest of the team from Rockinghorse was also blown away by the amount that was raised.
“Life is really hard out there at the moment and understandably people have lots on their mind. But seeing how much our fundraisers have been able to collect is wonderful! Our funding is down by around £100,000 this year and that amount is likely to rise with the continuing restrictions, so anything we can do to recoup some of these funds is really welcome.”
So, if this has inspired you to take the plunge, you haven’t missed your chance. The charity is organising another Christmas themed iDrop on 12 December. The event, like the other abseils, will be run in a safe, socially distanced way and will give people a chance to do something festive to support Rockinghorse in the run-up to Christmas.
For more information, keep a lookout on their website at: www.rockinghorse.org.uk/events or follow the charity on Facebook (@rockinghorse.charity), Twitter (@Rockinghorse67) or Instagram (@rockinghorse67) for more details.