First it was running a mile for Sport Relief. Then it was agreeing to run 10k as part of a triathlon. Then it was a day of climbing 40ft poles and zip wiring through the countryside. Now? Well… it seems that I’ve committed myself to abseiling (rappelling) down the side of one of London’s most iconic landmarks which has been featured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s Animals and in Hanson’s music video “Where’s the Love?” (I know, I know). I am conquering:
Dun, dun, dunnnnnn… That’s right, boys and girls. I’m going to be stepping off of Battersea Power Station 100 feet in the air and casually strolling down the side of the façade. More like freaking out down the side of the building but I’m trying to keep my cool for now!
Am I terrified? Hell yes, I am. Am I excited? Even more so. I’m super excited to not only to abseil down BPS but also to be raising money for an amazing charity—The Stroke Association.
It’s funny how these things happen. We get a lot of sales/charity calls in my office and last week we had a call from a gentleman from The Stroke Association asking if we’d be happy to display some material about “The Descent” fundraising event. I told them to send it through and I would have a look. As soon as I read about “The Descent” I thought “well heck, here’s something new to do!” Two days later, after mulling over the prospect of certain death from plummeting off a smokestack, I signed up.
The Stroke Association is an amazing charity—one which I feel very connected to. Over ten years ago, my granddad (who has always been my buddy) suffered a stroke while at work. He was extremely lucky in that he survived and made a nearly full recovery and has led a normal life since. Even so, his life has been greatly different—from daily medications to a change in diet to aphasia. The Stroke Association are committed to researching stroke prevention and treatment but, just as important, recovery and rehabilitation after suffering from a stroke.
While researching The Stroke Association and deciding whether or not I wanted to commit to fundraising for them, I learned some seriously scary things about stroke that cemented my desire to help such a fantastic charity. For example, did you know:
- An estimated 150,000 people have a stroke in the UK each year
- Stroke accounts for around 53,000 deaths each year in the UK
- Stroke is the third most common cause of death in England and Wales, after heart disease and cancer
- Stroke accounts for 9 per cent of all deaths in men and 13 per cent of deaths in women in the UK
- Stroke has a greater disability impact than any other chronic disease. Over 300,000 people are living with moderate to severe disabilities as a result of stroke
- Three times more women die from stroke than breast cancer
- 10,000 people under the of 30 will have a stroke each year
- For every £1 spent on cancer research in the UK, around 6p is spent on stroke research
Yeah. That’s just the tip of the iceberg… what they don’t mention are the effects that stroke has not only on the sufferers but on their family and friends. It’s a debilitating, sad condition that is unfortunately on the rise and, like it says above, it’s happening at younger and younger ages.
So how can you help?
For starters, you can support me in “The Descent” in a couple of ways.
- Come see me abseil down Battersea Power Station on the 4th of November at 3pm. Friends and family are welcome to come along and it would be totally amazing to have anyone that can make it come out and drown out my screams of terror with their cheers… and not to mention buy me drinks to calm me down after!
- Volunteer, campaign or fundraise with The Stroke Association. There are still places left for “The Descent” if you’re a daredevil like me! You can find more information here.
- DONATE, DONATE, DONATE! My goal for “The Descent” is £200 as you were all so generous and amazing when I did the Sport Relief Mile earlier in the year. How can you donate? You’re more than welcome to donate in person or you can donate online on my Just Giving page here. Just Giving is a fantastic site for fundraising and is 100% secure. Your details are safe and will never be sold on to any 3rd parties. Not only can you donate by card but you can also donate by PayPal which is an added bonus! All donations will be subject to Gift Aid at no extra cost to you, giving The Stroke Association an extra 25% on top of the donation you make. Fabulous, no?
Everyone likes to know where their money goes when donating to charity. In the case of The Stroke Association the money isn’t just going to line some CEO’s pockets—a few examples of the work The Stroke Association do include:
- £5 helps us to provide 15 people with crucial stroke leaflets, such as ‘Communication Problems After Stroke’.
- £10 can purchase specially designed large-handled cutlery for use by
people after stroke.
- £20 keeps our National Stroke Helpline open for one hour for advice to a
single caller coping with a stroke.
- £50 could contribute to the cost of basic lab equipment to support our researchers in their vital work to better understand the causes and treatment of stroke.
- £100 could provide a day-long course for a member of staff from health or social care by our Education, Training, Information and Support Organisers.
- £150 allows us to provide a ‘Life After Stroke’ grant for a person affected by stroke.
- £250 provides audio versions of information leaflets for people with communications difficulties.
So just to recap, in case you’ve skipped all the way to the end for the good stuff:
Me + your donations = me stepping off Battersea Power Station 100 feet in the air and walking down the side of the building a la Spiderman.
How is that not cool?