Ickle Pickles fundraisers abseil down Spinnaker Tower

TERRA FIRMA The participants in the abseil didn't let the strong winds of the day put them off
TERRA FIRMA The participants in the abseil didn't let the strong winds of the day put them off
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Strong winds failed to lower spirits at The Ickle Pickles third annual Spinnaker abseil on Saturday, April 18.

The abseil, organised to raise money for Ickle Pickles, a charity which provides neonatal equipment to hospitals, mustered a high turnout of 31 keen participants, raising just over £11,500 in total.

Laurence Chesworth, 31, of Chatsworth Road, Chichester, abseiled for the first time raising £2,180 for the neonatal unit at St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, where his son Ethan was cared for.

Ethan was born two months early on February 18, 2015 and Laurence’s abseil coincided with his wife Judy’s original due date.

He said: ‘I’m feeling a bit shaken.

‘It was long and really scary.’

Lorraine Blackburn, 32, of Waterlooville, is a fundraising ambassador for Ickle Pickles and organised the abseil alongside her husband Chris.

Lorraine said: ‘It’s been a bit stressful but the guys here have been brilliant.

‘The winds have caused a bit of an issue but I’m really positive about it.

‘Everyone has been really upbeat.’

Laura Meller, 34, and her cousin Vicky Maple, both from Bournemouth, abseiled to raise money for Southampton’s Princess Anne Hospital.

Vicky’s one-year-old son Samuel was born just 23 weeks into her pregnancy at Portsmouth’s Queen Alexandra Hospital, before being rushed to Southampton.

Laura said: ‘It was scary.

‘I was all right until I saw Vicky get stuck.

‘We set our total at £500 but smashed that in two weeks so raised it to £2.000, which we’ve just hit.

‘Now we’re just glad to be back on the ground.’

Despite the winds resulting in the final 12 abseilers being postponed until May, it did not take away from the success of the day.

Lorraine said: ‘We are over the moon with the total.

‘The atmosphere was amazing.

‘We are especially grateful to the staff and abseil team for all their hard work in this event.’