Three challenging events in a week

David Burland abseils down Broadgate Tower SUS-140616-153655001
David Burland abseils down Broadgate Tower SUS-140616-153655001

The chief executive of children’s hospice Shooting Star Chase has raised the bar in leading by example after he completed three challenge events in seven days last week.

On Sunday June 1, David was up at 4am to walk 13 miles as part of the charity’s scenic Sunrise Walk through some of the capital’s royal parks. Six days later on Saturday June 7 he abseiled 541ft down the Broadgate Tower in London’s financial district, and followed that up less than 24 hours later on Sunday June 8 by running the Turks Head 10k in south-west London.

Shooting Star Chase cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families . David, who has been chief executive since 2012, said seeing the work first hand is what makes him get personally involved in the challenges.

“I feel privileged to regularly see the fantastic work our care team do in caring for families who have a child with a life-limiting condition. When you see it first hand, it’s hard to not feel compelled to do something over and beyond the day job. When I signed up for each challenge I didn’t really take on board they were all in a week until it was too late, which is probably a good thing as I may have spread them out a bit!”

The three events expect to raise £80,000 for Shooting Star Chase, including £30,000 from the charity’s corporate supporter, Fourfront Group, who arranged the abseil in conjunction with Shooting Star Chase. Shooting Star Chase needs to raise £9.5 million every year to keep the care service running.

“The abseil was the most nerve-racking of course, but not as intimidating as I thought it might be because it was so well planned,” continued David. “The run was the least demanding but I set myself a tough personal target and after the other two I was a little drained. I ran the Turks Head 10k last year and I beat my time this time around so that was a bonus.”

“Our own Sunrise Walk was a brilliant community event. It was a struggle for everyone to get up at such an unearthly hour but we did it as a way of acknowledging that the families we support are often up all night caring for their child and in some cases giving them medication or ventilation to keep them alive. We asked ourselves why shouldn’t we be fundraising during the night as well?”

Report and ppicture contributed by Shooting Star Chase.