Thrillseekers tackle the tower to help children’s unit

28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Chris Blackburn and his wife Lorraine Blackburn after completing their abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3383)
28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Chris Blackburn and his wife Lorraine Blackburn after completing their abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3383)
From left: PO Adam Hilton,  Father Christmas, Captain Peter Towell, CPO Chris 'Paddy' Gilkes and Malcolm Dent

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DAREDEVILS abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower at the weekend to raise money for a vital neo-natal unit.

Crowds of onlookers cheered and applauded as dozens of people braved the 350ft drop from the top of the tower.

28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Chris Blackburn at the top of the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3357)

28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Chris Blackburn at the top of the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3357)

In total, 45 people took part in the abseil between Friday and yesterday.

About 40 of them were from the charity Ickle Pickles, which raises money for the neo-natal unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

One of those taking part on Saturday was 29-year-old Lorraine Blackburn.

Lorraine took the plunge because QA’s neo-natal unit looked after her son Owen after he was born prematurely in 2009.

28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Lorraine Blackburn at the top of the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3348)

28/7/2012 (SB)''Lorraine Blackburn and her husband Chris Blackburn from Waterlooville, along with thirty seven of their friends and family abseiled down the Spinnaker Tower in Gunwharf Quays on Saturday, raising money for the Neo-natal Unit at Queen Alexandra Hospital through the charity Ickle Pickles.''Pictured is: Lorraine Blackburn at the top of the Spinnaker Tower.''Picture: Sarah Standing (122517-3348)

Owen died after three months in their care.

Lorraine abseiled down the tower with her husband Chris and has raised around £7,000 with her fellow fundraisers.

She said: ‘It was amazing. It was over much quicker than I thought it would be.

‘Whenever it got a bit wobbly I looked down at my T-shirt which had a picture of my little boy on it and that’s what kept me going.

‘All my family and friends came down to cheer us on which was great.’

Funds raised by the group will be used to buy a SIPAP machine, which is a piece of equipment allowing babies to breath more independently.

It costs £30,000 and the money raised by abseiling will help pay for it.

Paul Sherwood, 44, from Bognor Regis, was another abseiler.

He said: ‘I was apprehensive about it beforehand but actually it was great.

‘My friend’s child was born prematurely and if it wasn’t for the neo-natal unit he wouldn’t have survived.’

If you would like to donate, text ICKL35 followed by the amount to 70070 or e-mail lorraine@icklepickles.org