🌹 🎶 Over the Edge - Abseil for George’s
17th March 2023, Fundraising for St George’s Hospital Charity
Katie's donation page - https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katie-rose38
“Shuffle your heels back over the edge and lean back, like you’re sitting in a chair” - possibly the most terrifying instructions I’ve ever received. There is no chair and I’m basically sitting back into thin air, suspended by a baby harness 13 storeys up on the top of Pelican Hotel. I’m trussed up to a metal gateway, a kaleidoscopic tapestry of London Town spinning around me in splinters of sunlight. Reassuringly, St George’s Hospital and a cemetery lie immediately below, the exit route off the planet clearly mapped out.
“Legs where have you gone…?” I take a big belly breath to see if I can summons them back.
“The rope has got you, can you feel that?” instructor Andy is utterly cool, calm and crystal clear.
Yes I can, and somehow it’s enough to reassure me that I can lean back and take my first staggery steps over the edge and down the side of the building.
“You’ll start off walking and then you’ll be bouncing…” Oh. Right. Bouncing requires coordinating my legs - but they’re flailing around like a mad spider and not working as a team right now. The voices of cheering friends reach me on the breeze and I make a determined effort to bring both feet onto the wall.
Boing!!!.. after a few spidery bounces, I realise I’m boinging towards the sharp edge of the hotel - a sandy yellow line splicing the bright blue sky like a long stretch of beach at the wrong angle. I steer myself back and manage a few more boings before suddenly the wall disappears and I seem to have twirled round. I have no idea what to do, so I let the rope rush through my hands and slide down to earth, which is mercifully much closer than I think - it’s done!
“Are you ok?” the welcoming party say as they unclip the ropes.
“Yes, I think so!” I stutter as I collapse laughing against the wall. Then there’s celebratory photos and hugs with Rose who, as an aerialist, was absolutely the right person to accompany me on this crazy adventure and the courageous ladies from Red Thread, a youthwork charity working within A&E, who went over before me.
I’m sent off to remove my harness - one of the least flattering things I’ve ever worn, given that the bottom half looks like a big pair of frontless pants. I almost fall over as the lady from Big Bang Promotions releases me, saying that “twirling is normal, especially if you’re a bit lighter.” From start to finish everyone has been incredibly supportive and made it feel like it was safe, possible and yes, actually normal to walk backwards over the edge of a high rise. I do a wobbly victory dance with the super friendly charity volunteers, one of whom reflects “it’s mad that we have to do this to get a ward in a hospital.” They wave me off with a certificate, charity goodie bag and lots of smiles. Back outside I’m warmly greeted by staff and volunteers, and just about manage to string some sentences together. Sitting down for a recovery cuppa with Rose, I’m shocked to discover I was only gone half an hour and the actual abseil only two and a half minutes - it felt like forever!!
🌹 🎶 THANKYOU!
So far three days of brave abseilers have raised a whopping £59k - let’s send this over the edge of £60k. Thanks to everyone who cheered me on and donated - together we’ve raised £1050 - WOWZERS!
There’s still time to donate here: JustGiving Page.
Thanks to all the staff and volunteers at St George’s Hospital Charity for making Abseil for George’s such a great experience. Thanks to Rose for coming along and taking videos and photos. Official photos: Hannah Halaska. Three cheers for the Paddy’s Day lucky leprechauns for bringing out the sunshine.
🌹 🎶HEART & LUNG SONGS
My fundraising is dedicated to the Heart & Lung Songs Group, founded by the Respiratory Physio Team at St George’s, which enables cardiac and respiratory patients to access the wellbeing benefits of singing. Since August 2015, I’ve had the honour of leading this very special, caring group who’ve sung their way through the ups and downs of life, including a pandemic. Thanks to the support of St George’s Hospital Charity, Rev Prof June Boyce Tillman and team at All Saints Tooting, the group will continue to sing together with a wonderful new leader Leslie Anne Lewis.
Warmly inviting you to join us at two events at All Saints Tooting as part of Wandsworth Arts Fringe
Community Choir Concert - 17th June, 6-8pm - Heart & Lung Songs will be joining other local choirs.
Midsummer Melodies Concert - 22nd June 7.30pm - an uplifting evening of song with Katie Rose & friends
🌹 🎶 THANKYOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!