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130 Abseil from St Marys Church, Bruton and Smash Fundraising Target
07 Nov 2017
It was an unforgettable weekend during which 130 brave individuals of all ages from schools, businesses and the local community gathered to take on SOS Africa’s latest fundraising challenge, a sponsored abseil from the top of St Mary’s Church, Bruton…
From 24-hour sentences in the UK’s oldest prison to nerve jangling abseil and zip wire challenges at iconic venues such as Glastonbury Festival’s Pyramid Stage, each year SOS Africa sets a new challenge for the most courageous of charity fundraisers. Standing at a lofty 100ft, with a history spanning back the 12th Century, St Mary’s beautiful Church Tower proved to be the ideal venue for our 2017 challenge.
Upon arrival, after receiving an abseil induction from Aardvark Endeavours Instructors and wearily ascending the tower’s 116 spiral staircase steps, abseilers were rewarded with fantastic views across the area. Chatting with them before their much-anticipated descent, it was impossible not to be inspired by their stories, many of them confronting long-term fears including claustrophobia and acrophobia which they were all determined to conquer.
SOS Africa volunteer Julie Huckle who suffers from a fear of heights, was one of the first to complete the abseil and raised over £300: “It was the most exciting and satisfying experience I have had in a long time and all for a fantastic cause!”
We were also overwhelmed by the fantastic support provided by the local community throughout the event; from the moment the first abseiler arrived on the Friday afternoon to the final touch-down on Sunday evening, the church grounds were abuzz with crowds gathering to cheer on the brave participants.
Event organiser Matt Crowcombe was particularly delighted by the involvement of large numbers of scouts groups, youth football teams and children from the local community: “We commend the bravery of all those who took part, many of whom were children and would like to thank our brilliant instructors from Aardvark Endeavours, Church Warden Harry Mills for his support throughout, our volunteers and the fantastic crowds which gathered to support our abseilers throughout the weekend."
With more sponsorship still to be collected, the current event fundraising total stands at a fantastic £10,000 equating to over 41 years of school tuition for the SOS Africa children. Special mention should go to the event's top fundraisers, "Team TTuSK" (shown below) who have just passed the £1000 fundraising mark.
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