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Over 40 daredevils abseil 60 feet in aid of hospice

Daredevils' fun abseiling for St Margaret's Hospice. Picture: St Margaret's Hospice
Daredevils' fun abseiling for St Margaret's Hospice. Picture: St Margaret's Hospice

MORE than 40 thrill-seeking Santas braved the chill to abseil 60 feet down Cheddar Gorge to raise funds for St Margaret's Hospice.

Experts from Cave and Climb kitted out and trained the daredevils before their descent watched by families and friends.

Hospice volunteers presented the Santas with medals at the base of the gorge.

Afterwards the participants enjoyed free hot drinks and mince pies in The Riverside Inn, in Cheddar.

Ralph Langworthy-Smith, a community nurse specialist at St Margaret’s who took part in the abseil, said: “It was an amazing experience. I was bit nervous when I got to the top of the gorge, but once I took my first step and started my abseil there was no stopping me. I really enjoyed it."

Afterwards the participants enjoyed free hot drinks and mince pies in The Riverside Inn, in Cheddar.

The event, sponsored by HSBC UK, raised more than £12,000 with more donations expected in the coming days.

The oldest participant was 83-year-old Phillipa, who volunteers at the Bishop's Hull hospice, who was thrilled to taken on the challenge alongside her daughter Lisa.

Merle Harrison-Croft, St Margaret's events manager, thanked the abseilers, volunteers and local businesses for their tremendous support.

She added: "We are absolutely delighted with the amazing response we’ve had to this year's Santa Abseil event and would like to say a big thank you to our brave Santas for taking on this amazing challenge in aid of us.

“The support we've received from our community has been remarkable, and it was wonderful to see so many abseilers and their families come out to support the hospice on what was a chilly weekend.

"The funds raised could pay for 110 specialist community nurse visits for patients in Somerset so they can receive the vital care they need at home which makes a huge difference.”

To take part in Santa Abseil 2024 email events@st-margarets-hospice.org.uk or visit the hospice's website for more information.