Over 80 brave fundraisers abseiled 154 feet down the tower block at Southend Hospital on Saturday 13 May. They hope to have raised £35,000 for hospital wards and units of their choice across Mid and South Essex NHS Foundation Trust.
A mixture of 84 staff, former patients and friends and relatives of patients took part in the annual; Tackle the Tower event, raising money for everything from Basildon Hospital's maternity bereavement suite, to Broomfield Hospital’s Childrens’ outpatient department and Southend Hospital’s Urology unit.
Michelle Warner from Southend raised £320, abseiling for Southend Critical care and Oncology.
She said: “I recently lost a friend and colleague, Dave Toplis and wanted to take on this abseil in thanks for the care he received on Southend’s critical care ward.
“This is also a massive thank you to the Oncology team, they were there for my mum throughout her cancer treatment in 2021 – they were all amazing.”
Lee Wilcockson, from Southend, raised £1,194, abseiling for Southend Cardiology and Haematology units.
He said: “I am so thankful to both teams and this was my way of giving something back. Cardiology saved my sister’s life following multiple heart attacks – we’ll never be able to thank them enough for that. My dad, Victor was cared for by staff at Southend Hospital after his diagnosis of Lymphoma. My abseil was in honour of him – it was a huge achievement given my fear of heights but I’m so pleased I was able to complete it in his memory."
Organised by Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, the event again has proved to be a huge success in raising vital funds to enhance patient and staff care, with it expected to reach new heights by exceeding the £31,000 raised in 2022.
Elise Fleetwood, events manager for the charity, said: “This is the eighth time we have held this event, with the previous Tackle the Towers raising a combined total of almost £175,000. That money has made a huge difference to patient care and staff in the areas that have benefitted over that time.
“And this year has been no different, we are so grateful to everyone taking part and that people continue to support the Trust and the great work we do. It has been so great to see so many of our longstanding supporters, those new to our charity and of course, the twenty staff members taking part.”
The event was sponsored by construction firm Ryan and Walsh, their support helps mean that every penny raised by abseilers will benefit the Trust.