Abseiling for a good cause
This sunny Belfast morning, I did something great. I abseiled off the top of the Europa Hotel.
The hotel has something of a reputation. It’s the most bombed in all of Europe, thanks to its part in The Troubles, and also stands an impressive 170ft.
When the idea was first mentioned, I signed up straight away. My little boy was only about three months old at the time and I knew straight away that I wanted to raise some money for the Royal Victoria hospital, where he was born.
Thanks to the lovely people there, I had a t-shirt to show off the good cause, and was raring and ready to go.
As I said, it’s been a beautiful day in Belfast, and despite the nerves, the views from the top of the hotel were absolutely stunning. Terrifying, but stunning.
Taking the steps over the edge were as nerve wracking as can be, but once I was on my way I actually took the time to pause and appreciate just how high up I was, as well as having a cheeky look through a few windows in the way down.
Upon reaching the floor, I’d have quite happily gone again. I really enjoyed the adrenilin rush and the experience as a whole, and it was great to do it surrounded by friends with my partner and little man waiting for me at the bottom.
Helping Hand is the charity to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, though my donation is intended for their maternity hospital.
It’s for the wonderful staff that prepared us throughout the pregnancy with friendly and informative ante-natal classes.
It’s for Julie – who dealt with us when my partner was booked in for her induction.
It’s for Ruth, who stayed with us throughout the night, putting us at ease and genuinely being brilliant throughout.
It’s for Christine, who my other half was fairly rude to as the big moment arrived, but who took everything in her stride and did her job with a smile.
It’s for Dawn, who was still a trainee but was magnificent in bringing my little man into the world and talking to us afterwards like we’d known her all of our lives.
And it’s for Kathy, who looked after the two members of my new family as they recovered enough in hospital to come home.
The Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast gets a lot of bad press. It really does and I’m not saying that those who co plain about it don’t have good reason. But I can’t fault a single member of staff that I’ve ever ever encountered there.
Bringing my little man into the world was just another day at the office for everyone who was involved for the couple of days it took him to arrive. I thought it was an absolute miracle and could never thank any of them enough, though they do it all day in and day out. I hope even the smallest donation can help them on a daily basis.
I haven’t raised as much as I’d have liked for Helping Hand, but as everyone tells me, every little counts.
If you’re reading this, and can afford a pound or two, every penny is much appreciated, I’ll leave a link at the bottom of the page.