The J’s Hospice Christmas Abseil returns to the city for the second year on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th December.
Last year, over 70 adventurous abseilers aged 9 to 79 dared to dangle from a platform 40ft above the ground inside the atrium of the County Hall building in Chelmsford for The J’s Hospice charity. Despite being in the safe hands of the abseiling experts from Essex Outdoors, many had to bravely overcome a significant fear of heights to take part.
The J’s Hospice supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families in Chelmsford and across Essex. Volunteer Judith Way from Great Baddow was one of those who faced her fears last year at the age of 56, raising £600 for the charity. She explained:
“I have met many of the young people that The J's Hospice takes care of at the charity's Inspire social group and they inspired me to do this. I want to do it again now!"
The event raised £10,000 in 2016 which helped to pay for tailored specialist nursing, respite, advice and emotional care in the comfort of the patients’ own homes as well as end of life care and bereavement support. Organisers at The J’s Hospice are hoping to raise even more this year.
Someone happy to help smash that total is Sophie Baker, 34 who will be travelling from North London to take part. Sophie heard about the J’s Hospice charity as she works for Baycroft Care Homes and Senior Villages who are sponsoring the abseil and they will be opening a new home in Great Baddow in the New Year.
Sophie did an abseil once at school but admits that was a fair amount of time ago so the Christmas Abseil will be a challenge for her. She said:
“I am very happy (and slightly nervous) to be dangling in support of the J’s and I am hoping to raise £500. The J’s Hospice is a fantastic cause which Baycroft are incredibly proud to sponsor now and in the future - however, I may be nominating another colleague for any future abseils!”
The charity’s Community Fundraiser, Zoe Butler, added:
“Our Christmas Abseil is really good fun. Unlike some other challenge events, you don’t have to be really athletic to take part so it appeals to everyone of all ages – you just need to be brave enough to dare to dangle! It’s a double line abseil so challenge your friends, family or work colleagues to take part with you.
We’re delighted that the brilliant team at Essex Outdoors are co-ordinating the abseil for us again this year. Thanks also to our sponsors, Baycroft, and to Essex Property and Facilities with Mitie the Integrated Facilities Team at County Hall who have agreed to host the abseil for the second year running.”
Michelle Mair and her colleagues at Mitie showed their support for the adventurous abseilers by climbing up to the spot 40 feet above the ground where they will dangle from. She explained:
“This was such a fun and eventful day for all that it simply had to be repeated. Mitie colleagues were very enthusiastic last year and showed their support by boosting the funds that day by raising over £300. Hopefully we can exceed this amount for such a worthy cause.“
The J’s Hospice Christmas Abseil is on Sunday 3rd and Monday 4th December, from 10am to 3pm at Essex County Hall in Market Road, Chelmsford. The event is open to adults and children aged 8 years and over and you can dress up in festive fancy dress. Ticket prices are £15 per adult with a minimum sponsorship of £85 and £15 per child (aged 8-16 years) with a minimum sponsorship of £30. All money raised will go to The J’s Hospice charity.
Places at the abseil can be booked online here until 4pm on Friday 1st December or people can sign up from 10am on both days at Essex County Hall.