Reach For The Skies This Summer to Raise Funds for Southend’s New Hospice

You can reach for the skies and raise money for Southend’s new hospice, which is currently under construction in Prittlewell, by abseiling down the UK’s tallest sculpture this August.

Havens Hospices is giving daredevils the opportunity to tick off an abseil or bungee from their bucket lists this summer. Thrill seekers can take on London’s Tallest Sculpture – the 114-metre-high ArcelorMittal Orbit at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, London, on Saturday 31st August and help raise funds for the new Fair Havens Hospice which will eventually care for thousands of people from across South East Essex.

Amanda O’Donnell took the plunge in May to raise money for the charity so that others can get the same high quality of care Fair Havens gave her father.

“I have supported Havens Hospices for many years both by volunteering and fundraising as I wanted to help a local charity and I knew the hospices do amazing work,” said Amanda. “However, it is not until you need them that you realise how vital that work really is.”

At the end of 2017 Amanda’s father was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer and was given approximately one year to live.

“During that year he was determined to stay at home despite recommendations of a care home,” continued Amanda. “I had spoken to the district nurses about going to the hospice if he got to that stage and the day care team were in touch with me to see where they could help.

“When it got near the end and we were both struggling to cope the district nurse did a referral to see if we could get Dad into the hospice. Walking in there and seeing their analysis of my dad within half an hour was amazing. He was made much more comfortable and the pressure was removed from me of being his carer. To have their amazing team looking after both him and our family was a great relief and they did everything they could for all of us. I don’t know what I would have done without them.”

Amanda is no stranger to raising funds for the hospice, including doing a 100km non-stop walk, a fire walk and a wing walk, but this was her biggest challenge to date as she doesn’t like heights.

“I decided if I was going to an abseil then I wanted to do it properly. Therefore, I picked the biggest freefall abseil in the UK,” she said. “I didn’t think I would ever need the hospice, but I will be eternally grateful they were there when we needed them. This is why I was hanging there over London completely out of my comfort zone, hating every second and being very scared. To fundraise for Havens Hospices is the least I can do for this outstanding charity.”

Havens Hospice Event Fundraiser, Emma Hamilton said,

“The local community have already come together so much and have helped raise and amazing amount of money for the new hospice, but we are now entering the final push as we get ever closer to hitting our target and also to opening the doors on new Fair Havens. We can’t do this without our wonderful supporters like Amanda who take on challenges like this to help raise money for us and secure the future of local hospice care. We’d love even more intrepid fundraisers to join us for the abseil in August and make a huge difference to their local community.”

The event is on 31st August, with the abseil commencing at 3pm. There’s a £50 registration fee with a minimum £200 requested fundraising pledge. Coach transportation is available on the day if required for an additional cost.

For more information please email Emma Hamilton [ehamilton@havenshospices.org.uk] or call 01702 220308.

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