Crawley charity's abseil challenge sees brave hospice heroes raise £30,000

Daring superheroes who took on a charity abseil have raised more than £30,000 for St Catherine's Hospice.

On Friday and Saturday April 5 and 6 teams of caped crusaders lowered themselves 30m down the Sandman Signature London Gatwick Hotel, Crawley, in a bid to raise as much cash as possible for the hospice.

Platinum Ambulance Service, who supports St Catherine's at its events, had 20 team members taking on the challenge.

Tim Mordant, from the firm, said: "We've all been affected. My niece unfortunately passed away within St Catherine's. Lots of the other members have been affected by it as well."

Best dressed team 'excited to do it again'

The team from Horley-based Barrington James recruitment, made up of Holly Bird, Cara Burnett, Alex Coppen and Ethan Maynard, was awarded best dressed by the charity.

The #Tykestrio team from Tykes Preschool Northgate. Hazel Dore, left, said: "It was brilliant, I loved it."

The #Tykestrio team from Tykes Preschool Northgate. Hazel Dore, left, said: "It was brilliant, I loved it."

Alex told how he enjoyed the abseil once he had got started.

He said: "I thought it was really fun. Going over the top's definitely the hardest. We had a chance to have some fun with it."

Several members of the team were keen to have another go once they reached the bottom.

Holly added: "[Once you have] got the first one out of the way, you're a bit more excited to do it again.

Cara said she 'wanted to go back up the top' and Ethan added: "I would have done it again."

The hospice is on target to raise £40,000. For more information about St Catherine's visit www.stch.org.uk
Going over the top: reporter Sam Dixon-French takes on the abseil (see video above)

Ahead of the abseil my favourite hobby was trying to work out how tall 30m is.

Various estimates were bandied about the office from three floors high to two houses stacked on top of each other.

As it turned out, 30m is slightly longer than two buses. Which is quite big.

I've done a bit of climbing before and did an abseil aged ten but nothing on this scale.

Going over the top is the worst bit. Looking at the drop is stomach churning but I manage a wave to the crowds below before being lowered over the edge.

At this point the adrenaline kicked in and I started to enjoy it.

Tied on with two ropes, one which you control and one safety line, makes you feel a bit like you're in a James Bond film.

As I gained in confidence I went from walking down the wall to small jumps.

All too quickly it was over and I reached the bottom.

Was it scary? Yes. Was it fun? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Without question.