Lawyer aims high to raise 
cash for cancer charity

LOOK, NO HANDS Mary Chant lets the rope take the strain  Picture: Andy Ritchie
LOOK, NO HANDS Mary Chant lets the rope take the strain Picture: Andy Ritchie
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LAWYER Mary Chant conquered her fears and abseiled 100m down the Spinnaker Tower to help cancer patients.

The 54-year-old mum-of-one, who is a partner at Hampshire law firm Blake Morgan, overcame nerves to abseil down the tower.

As well as a personal challenge, the feat raised money for a charity close to Mary’s heart.

After hearing of the expert cancer treatment given to a family friend at Southampton General Hospital, Mary made it her mission to help Planets – a relatively new charity based at the hospital dedicated to defeating pancreas, liver and neuroendocrine tumours.

It is bidding to raise £1m to provide world-class treatment for patients in Hampshire.

Mary’s previous moneyspinners had been sponsored swims, but the solicitor decided it was time to take on something much bigger – and scarier.

Mary, who had never abseiled before, described the moment she got to the top and realised she would not be returning to the ground by the lift.

‘The first step over the edge was nerve-wracking because you stand on a very small platform,’ said Mary.

‘You are hooked on to a safety rope and abseil rope, then you step over the edge, get your feet on the tower and you’re off!

‘I didn’t get vertigo, I just concentrated on what I was doing and tried not to look all the way down.’

Mary said her main focus was savouring the once-in-a-lifetime experience. ‘I spent a fair amount of time doing the descent because I wanted to take in the experience.

‘You get a fantastic view down to the ferries and across to the forts in the Solent. It’s an extraordinary view.

‘People are like specks. You can see people playing football on pitches miles away.

‘While I was going down a train came into Portsmouth Harbour station and it looked like a kids’ toy train track.’

Her abseil raised more than £1,500 for the charity. To donate visit justgiving.com/MaryRitchie3.