The last few months have been a busy time for us here at the Hospice as we launched our new ‘Fright or Flight’ event at the Park Regis Hotel. Our brand new corporate event involved abseiling down the front of the hotel, and then racing back up to the top for a timed stair-rush. Participants could either fly solo, or do it as a tag team, with one conquering the abseil and the other charging up the stairs.

On the day, it was great to see all our supporters come along and either take part or cheer their colleagues on from the Sky Bar (the views were incredible!)

Our amazing supporters raised over £14,500 from the event, and many of their stories  either made me giggle, gave me goosebumps, triggered a watery eye, or all three at once…

‘I can’t believe I agreed to this, I’m only going to do this if I raise a lot of money for the Hospice’

James Barwell, Director at Colour Cubed actually raised a tremendous amount of money, £2,590! His story goes back to the summer, when Robin Ford, General Manager at Park Regis Hotel, declared to James that as hosts of the Fright or Flight challenge, he was taking on the challenge himself and asked if James would be joining him. Over a glass of wine James agreed, but came to regret it dearly the next morning, remembering that he is absolutely terrified of heights!

James made the decision that he would still go ahead, if he could raise £2,000. Over the next few months, James and his business partner Simon Greenfield committed endless amounts of energy to raise enough money to convince James, who was becoming more terrified by the day, to abseil down the side of the hotel. On the day James had many supporters watching him from the Sky Bar in the Colour Cubed ‘VIP section’. All his supporters knew how nervous and terrified James was, and either couldn’t look at all, or had to peer from behind their hands. Slowly but surely, without looking down, James did it! Then he carried on and conquered the stairs too…

 ‘… because of the care they gave to my wonderful Father’

Claire Rogers from Superdream took on the challenge with colleagues because her father’s experiences in the last few weeks of his life couldn’t have been better anywhere else.

‘Their care began when they helped my mom and I nurse my dad at home. They would show us how to turn him giving the least amount of discomfort, and would listen to our concerns and calm us when emotion overwhelmed us. When the time was right for all we took dad into the hospice, we were surrounded by doctors and nurses who couldn't do enough for us. The doctors spoke to my father with such care and dignity that I will always be grateful for, whilst the nurses responded with kindness every single time we pressed the call button. The surroundings allowed us to feel at comfort and ease whilst the constant flow of tea served by the volunteers was always welcome.’

 ‘I want to be the fastest solo!’

Simon Millward from S2 Fire Solutions signed up really early to this event, along with 6 colleagues. He began training and was our fastest participant to do the whole event solo – abseiling down the Hotel and running up the 16 flights of stairs straight after in a speedy 1 minute and 14 seconds.

The team at the Park Regis Hotel were absolutely brilliant; we can’t thank them enough. They were so helpful, understanding and generous throughout all the planning and all our guests complimented our event partner on what wonderful hosts they were.

Now we are full steam ahead with our Christmas campaign, ‘Care at Christmas’. I am really looking forward to volunteering at our Jingle Bell Jog on Sunday 4th December, and this video of a colleague’s son calling people to sign up for the event is so sweet!

Thank you so much to all of our supporters for making 2016 a really memorable year. Next year is already looking great and we can’t wait to get started! For now, although it is a little early, I wish you a very peaceful and merry Christmas.