Sixty brave souls abseiled down a Birmingham skyscraper in torrential rain, to raise funds for a local charity, Edward’s Trust, which provides support for thousands of bereaved adults and youngsters every year.
The event was organised by Jo Spencer, office manager of Birmingham commercial property agents KWB, who calculates that Edward’s Trust will receive at least £18,000 from the event, at Regal Property Group’s The Bank scheme. [Ed: Final total achieved was £22,327.50.]
The block, which contains 189 apartments and studio flats, stretches almost 70 metres into the sky above Broad Street – making it higher than Niagara Falls.
“Given the weather, from the roof, it looked as if they were abseiling down Niagara, and they were all tremendously brave,” said Jo.
“We had raised more than £8,000 before the day, and lots more came in over the weekend, so by the following week, we’d definitely got £18,000, with hopefully more to come.”
Jon Tedstone and Toby Barnett of KWB prepare to descend.
Edward’s Trust was chosen as KWB’s charity partner for 2019, because the latter’s director, John Bryce, has done pro-bono work for them, and both organisations were celebrating their 30th anniversary.
The charity works with adults and youngsters who are bereaved, or about to be, provides respite care, ‘wellbeing in bereavement’ support, and also trains professionals working in their sector, but such activities cost around £600,000 a year, so they must rely on goodwill and support for funding.
Many of the fundraisers were from the agents’ contacts and friends in the commercial property sector, but they included three Bank residents, who volunteered after seeing a notice about the abseil on the skyscraper’s notice-board.
Another to defy the weather was Edward’s Trust engagement co-ordinator, who is also a bereaved mother, Lucy Goodway, who described her abseil as “a very scary experience”.
“I didn’t look down the whole time, but remembered the reason why I was doing such a challenge and it helped me to get through the 70-metre descent.
“It was such a rewarding experience, helped by all the KWB volunteers shouting and encouraging me to get to the bottom safely.
“We really appreciate everything Jo and everyone at KWB do for us, because we rely heavily on donations, and all the money goes to support parents, young people and children who have suffered such devastating loss…
“The £18,000 from the abseil equates to approximately 350 hours of bereavement counselling, which will be hugely beneficial to the families involved.”