iDrop Charity Abseil
Date: Saturday 28 April 2018
Location: British Airways i360, Brighton
What is the event?
The first public abseil from the British Airways i360 pod, in aid of Rockinghorse. Participants will be fitted with safety harnesses and lowered, either manually or mechanically, from the open pod doors at 450ft. The iDrop challenge will be operated by Belay Ropes Access and sees 32 people taking part, each raising £1,000 in sponsorship.
The charity abseil will be raising funds for our Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) appeal, to provide the neonatal unit in Brighton with a specialist X-Ray imaging machine. TMBU has become one of the foremost centres for treating premature and sick newborn babies, and has dramatically improved survival rates. We are very proud to be supporting this wonderful unit through the event.
The event will take place from 8am, where all participants will be guided through the challenge by Belay Rope Access. They have a choice of what type of abseil to take part in; the more nervous or less able candidates will be attached to a Constant Rate Descender device (which means that the abseil will be completely controlled by the team in the pod). The more able or willing will be taking part in a straight abseil using a Participant Controlled Descender Device, using the same back-up system.
Meet the participants...
With the abseil taking place this month, we hear about the 32 participants who’ll take on the 450ft drop from the British Airways i360.
Each of them has committed to raising £1,000 for our Trevor Mann Baby Unit X-Ray Imaging Machine Appeal and will be braving the challenge on Saturday 28 April. Come down to Brighton seafront from 8am and show them your support – here’s who is taking part…
Chris Eubank Jnr, 28, from Brighton is one of Britain’s most famous boxers whose rise to world champion has been prolific if not expected due to his family pedigree. Renowned for his calm and collected manner in the lead-up to fights and his explosive punching power in the ring, there is no doubting that Eubank Jr. is on the cusp of greatness. Chris has decided to take part in the iDrop event to support Rockinghorse as he spent time in the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) as a child and wants to give back to the local Brighton community. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/chris-eubankjr.
Gemita Samarra, 25, lives in Bristol and is a stuntwoman, producer, writer, journalist, artist, adventure athlete, brand ambassador, actress and model. Her career started out doing stunts for films such as 007’s Spectre and Fast and Furious 6, as well as having a character in Game of Thrones. Since then, Gemita has branched out; with the money generated from stunts and acting primarily being used to fund her passion for producing documentaries, aimed at raising awareness for environmental causes, animal and human rights. She is excited to take part in the iDrop event for Rockinghorse as she likes to support charitable causes. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/idrop-gemita.
Clare Huntington, 40, from Brighton gave birth to twins in the Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, in 2014. Her son Christopher died shortly after birth and her daughter Valentina fell ill 24-hours later and was placed in the hospital’s Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) where she was cared for around the clock for almost two-weeks. Clare is very grateful for the care, empathy and kindness shown by the doctors, nurses and midwives to her babies and especially for saving her daughter's life. After seeing first-hand all the equipment that is needed and used in the unit, she wanted to give something back. Clare is also doing this in memory of her baby Christopher and has been waiting for the right opportunity to celebrate him…and what a way to do it! Dangling down 450ft from the end of a rope will be her way of saying thank you and doing something for her baby boy. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/clare-huntington1.
Jeannine Brett, 85 (86 in May!) from Brighton and is referred to as a “Daredevil Great-Grandmother” by her friends and family. After recovering from cancer, months later Jeannine abseiled down The Grand Hotel in Brighton at the age of 83 to raise money for several charities. This time she would like to support Rockinghorse as her niece had a baby treated in a special care baby unit in Devon so knows the cause is important. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jeannine-ben.
Ben Bradford, 15, from Peacehaven is the grandson of the “Daredevil Great-Grandmother”. Ben also abseiled down The Grand Hotel in Brighton with his grandmother, raising money for several charities, and he is happy that they will be both taking part in the event together. He looks forward to supporting Rockinghorse through the iDrop, and you can support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jeannine-ben.
Jake Heal, 14, from Hove was born on 12 June 2003 and was diagnosed with Prader-Willi Syndrome a few weeks later. PWS is a rare genetic condition that causes a wide range of physical symptoms, learning difficulties and behavioural problems. He spent 17-nights on the Trevor Mann Baby Unit (TMBU) in Brighton from birth and has had regular visits (at least six times a year) to the Alex during the ensuing 14-years. He is a happy and active teenager and enjoys attending Northease Manor School in Lewes. He says he is looking forward to the 450ft iDrop so he can raise lots of money for Rockinghorse as they looked after him when he was a baby. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jake-heal360.
Colin Smith, 75, lives in Woodingdean and is married to wife Angela, and together they have daughter Clare and son Matthew. Colin has fundraised for many years for a variety of charities. He does admit that he is far from at ease with heights and it takes real enthusiasm for the cause to go through with the challenge. However, Colin says the feeling and jubilation of his feet touching the ground and satisfaction of a successful fundraise is the best feeling ever! Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colin-smith-43.
Louise Mimnagh, 35, from Shoreham works as an Imaging Patient Access Manager at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals Trust. Working within the imaging department, Louise fully supports the funding of a Digital X-Ray Imaging Machine for the Trevor Mann Baby Unit. Louise’s niece, who is now eight, was also treated at the unit when she was a baby. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/louise-mimnagh1.
Colin Brace, 53, from Hassocks has been an established businessman within the local community for 30 years. Colin is the Director of Harbour View Developments and a founding member of the Brighton and Hove Property Consortium which has raised over £100,000 for the city’s charities. Being a family man and having known several families whose children have started their lives on the Trevor Mann Baby Unit, Colin is immensely proud of the work that Rockinghorse do. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/colin-brace-idrop.
Allyshia Vallier, 16, from Portslade is an enthusiastic fundraiser and iWill Ambassador whose charity work in the past has included cutting all her hair off for the Little Princess Trust. Allyshia is also organising a charity gig at Komedia for Women Empowerment and intends on using her musical talent by busking in and around Brighton to raise funds for Rockinghorse. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/allyshiav.
Sharon Dockeray, 31, from Hove works for New Priory Vets. She feels like she is in a fortunate position to be helping animals in her profession, so is delighted that through this event she will be reaching out to help children too. She says; “We all know that to be sick as an adult can be tough and challenging, but to be ill as a child is extremely sad and devastating for not only the child but those around supporting and caring, feeling absolutely helpless. In these times, having tools facilitating an early diagnostic, as well as medical, physical and mental support is of vital importance. Rockinghorse is an amazing charity providing much-needed support and help on such a tough journey, so it makes perfect sense to help them in any way possible.” Sharon is scared of heights but sees the event as a great opportunity to support Rockinghorse. You can support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sharon-dockeray.
Alex Hamdoon, 35, is a Mortgage Adviser from Worthing. He is taking part in the abseil as he has seen first-hand the worry from friends that have had premature babies treated at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and feels the work Rockinghorse do is incredible. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-hamdoon.
Emily Mann, 25, from Steyning is studying an Early Years Degree at the University of Brighton and working at a local nursery. Emily loves heights and is excited to be doing a fun challenge whilst raising lots of money for such an amazing cause. Working with young children is Emily’s passion and she is very happy to be raising money for a charity who helps so many little ones. Emily cannot wait to be part of such a special day! Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-mann13.
Ben Collier, 28, runs a digital product company in Brighton and can see the top of the British Airways i360 from his office. Ben loves the idea of looking out the window every day knowing that he’s dangled out of the pod doors all the way down to the beach! He is excited to partner with Rockinghorse, as a charity with aspirations far taller than the i360 and he’s happy to be a part of that. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/benjaminc.
James Hartt, 28, from Hove works as an iOS Developer and is looking forward to completing the iDrop Abseil after seeing the moving observation tower built, as he lives opposite it. James is completing the abseil on behalf of a colleague whose child was treated at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/james-hartt.
Jackie Ashwood, 36, from Brighton works for Domestic and General who currently support Rockinghorse as their Charity of the Year. Jackie is a big supporter of our charity and has taken part in many events and offered support as a volunteer. She has a big fear of heights which is why she’s chosen to take part in the iDrop Abseil – to encourage more support for our appeal! You can support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jackie-ashwood7.
Haley Gow, 34, from Uckfield has family and friends that have had premature babies who’ve received treatment at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and understands how important the initial care and treatment is needed to save lives. Haley’s nephew was also treated there several years ago which saved his life, so Haley is very excited to be giving something back. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/haley-gow.
Mila Brazzi, 25, from Brighton is a communications professional motivated by big ideas that generate positive impact. Mila is also a thrill-seeker so feels that taking part in the iDrop Abseil to raise money for Rockinghorse was a no-brainer. Rockinghorse has helped to save loved ones around Mila and she feels honoured to be able to help fund and support the lives of other people’s little loved ones now. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mila-balzi.
Adrian Chalifoux, 30, from Heathfield likes to raise money by having a bit of fun dressing up in Star Wars costumes. Adrian has participated in raising money for several charities in the past and this will be Adrian’s first ever charity event for Rockinghorse. You can support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/adriantheofficer.
Amanda De Zilva, 50, from Hove has supported Rockinghorse for many years through her fitness and bodywork studio Bend Fit Mend. She is taking part in the iDrop Abseil event to celebrate recently turning 50 (12.5 Leap Years!) and supporting Rockinghorse is a bonus for her. She feels blessed to have a happy and healthy daughter but has clients that haven’t been so lucky and have needed Rockinghorse’s support, so she is honoured to continue to support our charity. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/amanda-dezilva1.
Kim Sawyer, 48, is a super fundraiser from Southwick and has raised money by taking part in many events such as walking on hot coals, trekking The Great Wall of China and abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower – just to name a few! Kim loves a new challenge and is doing the abseil on behalf of several friends who have had babies treated in the Trevor Mann Baby Unit. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kim-sawyer.
Gail Waller, 43, from Worthing is a solicitor at Mayo Wynne Baxter, who currently support Rockinghorse as their Charity of the Year. The firm have raised funds for Rockinghorse through many events and this will be the third event for Rockinghorse that Gail is participating in. Being a Medical Negligence Solicitor, Gail has many clients whose babies have been admitted and treated at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit and wants to help other families going through a tough time. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gail-waller.
Edward Morris-Jones, 44, from Brighton recently moved to the city and wants to give back by raising money for a local charity. Edward has chosen Rockinghorse as he feels it is an amazing opportunity to support the fantastic work our charity does and wants to help bring hope to families and improve quality of life. Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/edward-morris-jones.
Lotte Bateson, 37, lives in Hove and used to work in the Children’s Intensive Care Unit at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, so knows how important the work Rockinghorse do is. Lotte is taking part in the abseil as it’s a worthy cause, and as a tribute to a friend’s baby who was in critical care for the first week of his life. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lotte-bateson2018.
Kate Morley, 37, from Lewes works as a Police Constable for Sussex Police. Kate loves a challenge and is looking forward to this being her first charitable event and can’t wait to support a fantastic, local cause. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kate-morley3.
Nicky Parsons from Seaford works for American Express. Nicky is looking forward to supporting Rockinghorse due to her great niece Violet receiving care at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit. She made a full recovery after being placed on a Cooling Mat which was funded by our charity. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nicola-parsons6.
Luke Evans, 30, from Brighton works as Cabin Crew for Norwegian Airlines and is mad for adventure and extreme thrills. Luke is very excited for this great challenge and pleased to support our cause. You can support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/luke-evans12.
Tracy Moultrie, 47, from Kent has chosen to take part in the iDrop Abseil event to celebrate being free of cancer. She is excited to take part and support Rockinghorse due to her nephew being treated at a special care baby unit after being born at 30-weeks. Support her here: http://www.justgiving.com/Tracy-Moultrie2.
Rosie Hewitt, 34, from Horsham is a Recruitment Business Partner at an Engineering Consultancy. Rosie feels that being a mother herself and being able to raise money to help so many families, will be a real honour. Rosie is fiercely competitive and has fundraised in the past by completing an abseil down the Sofitel Hotel at Gatwick airport and participating in a bubble run. Support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/rosie-hewitt.
Carlota Melo, 14, from Brighton is extremely excited to be the first school girl to take part in the iDrop Abseil event. Carlota has raised money for several charities in the past and a friend has inspired her to take part in the abseil for Rockinghorse after being supported by our charity in the past. You can support her here: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/carlota-melo.
Joel Adams, 34, from Brighton is a Local Government Reporter at The Argus newspaper. He will be live-streaming the event as he drops! Support him here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/joeladamsidrop.
The final participant has decided to remain anonymous.