19 May 2015
Over 60 intrepid local people tackled the tower at Southend University Hospital by abseiling 154 feet down tower block to raise money for a ward, department or hospital charity of their choice.
Captain America, otherwise known as Terry Anderson, 56, from
Southchurch village, was raising money for Bedwell ward, a cancer
ward, in memory of his late friend Gerry Splarn.
He said: "I've not been in the area long and wanted to be a part
of something that brought the local community together."
Mother and daughter, Tracey Meddle, 53, and Tamsin Meddle, 30,
were Batman and Robin respectively. They didn't hail from Gotham
but closer to home in Stambridge, the dynamically dressed duo were
raising money for the Keyhole Cancer Appeal in memory of Bob Finch,
Tracey's dad and Tamsin's grandfather.
Tracey, by day a student wellbeing manager at Belfairs, may have
looked the part of The Dark Knight but confessed she was less happy
about The Dark Knight rising as she was afraid of heights, whilst
Tamsin said: "I probably should have been Spider-Man as I work in
nuclear medicine at the hospital."
After the descent, which they both completed together, Tamsin
added: "It was a really exciting adrenalin rush and a fantastic
Meanwhile, Supergirl flew in from Wickford to take part, in the
guise of 24 year old Stephanie Eaton. And Stephanie's superhero
outfit really was befitting as she explained: "My mum calls me
Supergirl as last year I had three life-saving operations here at
the hospital. None of my operations were able to be done with
keyhole surgery but I know what a real benefit it can bring to
patients, so I am raising money for the Keyhole Cancer Appeal. I've
not done something like this before but just wanted to give
Stephanie has already raised an impressive £1,400 for her abseil
and her abseiling action is even more impressive as she had to get
special permission from her surgeon to complete the challenge as
she has one more operation to go.
But you didn't have to have a cape to be a superhero at the
tackle the tower abseil. Sheila Fenner, 72, from Southend is a
community first responder in Thorpe Bay and was tackling the tower
to raise money for Westcliff ward who looked after her husband
before he sadly passed away. Sheila was not fazed by the 10 storey
abseil, she said: "I have abseiled before down the Argos building
in town, but that wasn't as tall as this. Friends and family think
I'm mad and need a brain transplant but I've raised nearly
Lucy Thomas-Clayton, associate director of community engagement,
said: "Many people taking on the 10-storey abseil have their own
personal stories relating to a ward, department or appeal that
either they or a loved one have benefitted from and it is always
amazing to see the dedication and passion of people like Terry,
Tracey, Tamsin, Stephanie and Sheila, as well as everyone else who
took part, supporting Southend Hospital."
This is the second time local people have taken on the tackle
the tower experience and it is set to return next year, if you are
interested in taking part contact firstname.lastname@example.org