Abseilers go Over the Edge for Crawley’s St Catherine’s Hospice

St Catherine's Hospice superhero abseilers at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Crawley - picture credit Richard Lycett Photography

St Catherine's Hospice superhero abseilers at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Crawley - picture credit Richard Lycett Photography

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Superheroes came out in force to support St Catherine’s Hospice’s Over the Edge abseil event earlier this month.

Almost 100 brave supporters took on the 100ft abseil down the outside of the Sandman Signature hotel in Crawley.

St Catherine's Hospice, Crawley, 2016 abseilers from Travelopia: Kelly Ranson, Rob Sillars, Natalie Herrera - picture submitted by St Catherine's Hospice

St Catherine's Hospice, Crawley, 2016 abseilers from Travelopia: Kelly Ranson, Rob Sillars, Natalie Herrera - picture submitted by St Catherine's Hospice

Their challenge was made even more special as it took place during National Hospice Care Week, which celebrates the work of local hospices across the UK.

On Friday, local businesses swapped their office suits for a wide array of Superhero costumes, from Harry Potter, to Iron Man and Cat Woman.

Among them was Kelly Ranson from the Travelopia corporate team. She said: “I’d been looking forward to the abseil for weeks, it was all we could talk about in the office, but I had no idea what it would actually be like.

“I really felt like a superhero as I went over the edge of the building, particularly as I knew that my colleagues and I were all helping St Catherine’s look after people with a terminal illness.”

St Catherine's Hospice superhero abseilers at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Crawley - picture credit Richard Lycett Photography

St Catherine's Hospice superhero abseilers at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Crawley - picture credit Richard Lycett Photography

Also going over the edge were five members of staff from the hospice’s departments, including Nursing, Front of House Services, Housekeeping, and Human Resources.

Team member Wayne Stepney said: “What an amazing experience! I was a bit shaky at first but at last I got going.

“The team from Over the Edge gave me great support and words of encouragement to calm my nerves and hearing my family, friends and work colleagues shouting ‘come on Dad/Wayne’, and more importantly remembering why I took on this challenge - to get over my fear of heights and to raise money so our hospice can continue to provide outstanding care gave me my final motivation. I’d encourage anyone to take on a challenge like this. You’re not alone and it’s great fun.”

The town’s MP Henry Smith even braved the dizzy heights of the hotel.

Donned as Harry Potter, Mr Smith said: “I’m pleased to play my small part in helping raise awareness of the great work that St Catherine’s does for people in Crawley, Horsham, East Surrey and Mid Sussex.

“In 2015-16 the hospice cared for more than 2,300 people living with a life-limiting illness.

“I’m always grateful for the opportunity to listen to the Hospice’s staff tell me about the work they do. When I’ve visited St Catherine’s previously it’s clear to see the caring and compassionate way in which it’s run.”

The event is one of the hospice’s biggest fundraisers of the year and it is on track to raise £25,000.

Events fundraiser Michaela Clements said: “We’d like to thank everyone who took part and the Sandman Signature Hotel for hosting our exciting challenge.”

To find out more about how you can support St Catherine’s in future challenges, please call the Events Team on 01293 447355 or email events@stch.org.uk. To make a donation see www.stch.org.uk