Gail Lalljee faced her fear of heights earlier this month and abseiled down the London Orbit to raise money for Chestnut Tree, the children’s hospice service for East Sussex, and Brighton Housing Trust (BHT).
The 52 year old, who lives in Beckley and works in Hastings, admitted to being terrified of heights but says she always wanted to abseil. She said:“It wasn’t until I received the abseil as a Christmas present that I thought about actually taking on the terrifying challenge.”
The London Orbit, built as part of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in 2012, is the highest sculpture in the UK, and offers the highest freefall abseil at 262 feet. Gail took the epic challenge on May 15, and says she would do it again: “I was really
nervous to start with and it took me a while to get over the edge, but once I felt secure it was OK. I am so pleased to have completed the challenge, and would definitely do it again.”
Gail decided that, if she was going to take on such a big challenge, she would also like to raise money for charity. She was already affiliated with BHT and their Finding Futures programme, which helps adults improve their education and life skills, and was keen to find a children’s charity to fundraise for as well. “The work Chestnut Tree does is fantastic,” she said. “I have experienced the help adult hospices can offer through a family member, but to think that there are children out there in need of similar help makes me want to do whatever I can to make sure Chestnut Tree can reach them.”
To date Gail has raised nearly £1,000 for her chosen charities. “I am so pleased to have raised so much,” she said. “It would be great to get the total above £1,000, so if anybody would like to donate they can still do so by searching for my name at www.justgiving.com.”