On 24th June the sun was shining over the top of the Danubius Hotel in St Johns Wood: we were ready for our next challenge in aid of the Wellington £1 million Appeal. Today, our courageous fundraisers would abseil from the roof of the 120ft hotel, thanks to Sir Bernard Schreier, Chairman of the Danubius Hotel.
At 10.00 am the first group of brave fundraisers arrived at the hotel led by the CEO of the Wellington Hospital, Keith Hague. A valiant captain of his team, Keith was to be the first to descend. The instructors fitted him with the safety kit and he made his way to the roof of the twelve storey building.
Meanwhile, down below Sir Bernard welcomed the crowd.
On the roof, the joking and laughter gradually disappeared into the thin, fresh air at 120ft. Tension and adrenaline mounted. A briefing from the instructors, and Keith was on the edge of the Danubius. Three, Two, One, a smile to the camera, and Sir Bernard sounded the airhorn: the Wellington Appeal Abseil Challenge had started.
Keith scaled the wall in less than a minute, and was welcomed to the ground by an applauding crowd, a certificate, and a huge sense of achievement. The day had got off to a great start.
One by one the abseilers were escorted to the roof – some confident, some more nervous than they had ever been in their lives. But every single one of them successfully completed their challenge.
On day 2 of the abseil, Saturday 25th June, the weather was not so kind. But the enthusiastic abseilers’ sprits were not dampened. Mike Neeb, President of HCA International led Saturday’s descent. So smartly dressed in his tuxedo, he was reminiscent of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible (although taller). A great show for the crowd below