Join us for the iDrop Charity Abseil!

Thrill-seekers are being invited to take on an eye-watering challenge for charity…iDrop is the very first abseil event from the world’s tallest moving observation tower – British Airways i360 in Brighton!

The first public abseil from the British Airways i360 pod will take place on Saturday 17 March, 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 is open to 30 people, who can each raise the minimum £1,000 in sponsorship.

British Airways i360 in Brighton is the world’s tallest moving observation tower, with a giant glass pod rising from ground level to 450ft. It was conceived and designed by Marks Barfield Architects, creators of the London Eye. The abseil will be tested on the 13 and 14 January, while the attraction is closed for annual maintenance.

Executive director, Steve Bax, said: “The view from the British Airways i360 pod at 450ft is quite breath-taking, and for the very first time we will be opening the doors while the pod is at the top of the tower and allowing members of the public who are brave enough to abseil back down again. The highly experienced team at Belay Ropes Access will be operating the event and we are all very excited that the participants will be raising funds for local children’s charity Rockinghorse.”

Belay Ropes Access director, Iain Tindall, added: “The sheer exposure of British Airways i360 is what makes this abseil special because unlike other venues, you are descending in open space rather than against a wall. And the position on the seafront makes it unique. I would challenge anyone not to feel a few nerves when faced with a 450ft drop, so even for experienced people, this will present a fearsome challenge.”

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.

Rockinghorse chief executive, Ryan Heal, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as beneficiary of the very first iDrop challenge! This is certainly a unique event and a fantastic opportunity for any thrill-seeker to take on the 450ft drop. Having recently celebrated our 50th anniversary, this is a great start to 2018 and continuing our mission to support local children’s centres and paediatric services across Sussex.”

The event will take place from 9am, where all participants will be guided through the challenge by Belay Rope Access. After being fitted with a harness, you will have a choice of what type of abseil you’d like to take part in. The more nervous or less able candidates will be attached to a Constant Rate Descender device; this means that your abseil will be completely controlled by the team in the pod, so this option is available to anyone over the age of 12. For the more able or willing, you will be able to take part in a straight abseil using a Participant Controlled Descender Device, using the same back-up system – this option is recommended for ages 18 and over.

We’re inviting supporters to apply for a place to take part in this unique charity event. The registration fee is £75, and those wishing to take part will also need to fill out an application form that is available to download via the events section of our website. Applications will close on Friday 16 February at midnight. Please only apply for a place if you are confident you can raise the minimum sponsorship required.

If you are one of the successful 30 participants selected for iDrop, we are offering the participant with the highest amount of sponsorship raised by Friday 16 March at 3pm, to be the very first person to make the drop!

For further questions about the abseil and to register, please contact our Challenge Events Fundraising Manager, Hannah Seltzer on 01273 330044, or email hannah.seltzer@rockinghorse.org.uk.

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