Thursday, 13 June 2013

Ready, Steady, Abseil!

Outreach Manager, Amelia Calvert, writes about her experiences as part of Art in Healthcare's intrepid abseiling team last month...

Ready to go..
 And so, on a deeply foggy day in May, with heartbeats racing, harnesses tightened, helmets fitted and gloves poised, a team of intrepid staff members, trustees, supporters and friends of Art in Healthcare, found themselves lined up along the Forth Rail Bridge, 165ft up from the beach below, a stone’s throw away from the noisy trains thundering overhead and staring rather anxiously at the vertical rope in front of us that disappeared ominously into the distant abyss of crowds cheering below.

Six months of anticipation, JustGiving plugs and wonderings about whether we would actually achieve the task condensed into this one moment, the moment when each of us were asked by our individual helpers, in a relaxed but instructive tone to “now step over the railing”. This was it, no going back, no time to think, just a simple move towards ‘sealing the deal’, as easy as climbing a fence, no? And then to sit back, straighten our legs and enjoy, ha! Oh and smile at the camera before heading down..

Heading down..
The rest is history. Remarkably, we mostly did all smile at the camera and we mostly did all make it to the sand below in both good heart and good health (the latter perhaps less remarkable because the safety of the event seems very watertight). What remains now is to issue multiple thank you’s. Thank you to all our supporters for their generous donations, raising us a total of £7,194.55 plus Gift Aid to date and still increasing.. Thank you to our friends and families for their emotional and mental support – no, the bridge will not fall down and no, there will not be killer seals waiting for you at the bottom. Thank you to CHSS for putting together a fantastic event of which we could be a part (a phenomenal £155,000 was raised on the day for different charities and over £100,000 was raised for CHSS alone) and, most importantly, thank you to the weather fairy for hiding the true scale of the bridge in thick fog before we made our anxious ascent to start the daring descent..
We did it!

Watch our YouTube video of the event, kindly put together by fellow abseiler and volunteer, David Oxley:

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