700 brave 150ft abseil for charity

VIDEO You would be excused a case of the jitters if you were told to walk over the edge at the top of a nine storey building.

YOU would be excused a case of the jitters if you were told to walk over the edge at the top of a nine storey building.

But that is exactly what 700 people have done, raising an estimated £70,000 for charity.

Organised by Main Event Group Activities (MEGA), the twelfth annual charity abseil from the roof of Ipswich Hospital's maternity block took place on Saturday and yesterday.

Teenager Chris Firman was one of the first to make the 150ft descent. Chris and his father Ray won the chance to take part in a competition held in The Evening Star, and were watched by mother and wife Angela Firman.

Safely on the ground, Chris, 14, of Brookfield Road, off Norwich Road, in Ipswich, said: “I wanted to beat my dad. I wasn't too nervous. It's a great sense of achievement. I wasn't too frightened by the height.”

Mr Firman, 45, a signals technician, said: “I expected to be nervous but it wasn't too bad in the end. As long as you make it over the top it's ok going down.

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“I've done the abseil before so I knew what it was like. I'm scared of heights and this is a way of overcoming that fear. I loved it. I'd happily go up again.”

Joining the Firmans was a third lucky winner, 18-year-old Thomas Green, of Dogwood Close, in the Warren Heath area of Ipswich.

His mother Susan Green said: “I entered him into the competition as he wants to join the Territorial Army and I thought this would be a good experience for him. I'm proud he's done it.”

Thomas, a part time shop assistant, said: “It was difficult to edge back over the top. I was nervous but once you're over its good fun. I'm pleased I've done it.”

MEGA managing director Frank Turmel said: “In the last eleven years we've managed to raise more than £1million for more than 300 different charities.

“This weekend we are raising money for more than 100 charities. For most people it's a daunting proposition but it safer statistically than walking or driving.”

Did you take part in the charity abseil? What did you think? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

N See Wednesday's Evening Star for a special picture supplement on the abseil.

N See www.eveningstar.co.uk for video footage of the abseil action.