The Local business community leaders took on a daring freefall abseil at Chester Cathedral on Saturday, raising over £2,500 for local mental health charity Chapter.
In total, 29 people abseiled down the building. Participants eased themselves down a rope, without even a wall to settle themselves against, directly down the centre of the Cathedral, the nave of which is around 24 metres in height – nearly 80 feet.
Four members of Chester Cathedral’s own staff took part, including the Dean of Chester himself, Revd Tim Stratford.
Participants also included the University of Chester’s Yoga Society, brave 12-year-old schoolgirl Grace Spink, and several members of the local business community who were keen to show their support for Chapter.
Lisa Whitehouse, Managing Director of business-to-business marketing firm Clever Jellyfish, who share a building with Chapter and are also members of the West Cheshire & North Wales Chamber of Commerce, said:
“I was delighted to be involved with the Charity Abseil for Chapter. The work Chapter do is hugely important, both in directly supporting adults with mental health issues, as well as their work to raise awareness of an issue which affects so many families. It was also an amazing opportunity on a personal level, it’s not every day you get asked to abseil down a historic building, and the views were spectacular! I’m looking forward to the next challenge!”
Tristan Hartey of Hartey Wealth Management and IPS Business Coaching’s Ian Spink were among the other representatives of the business community.
The £2,500 raised in registrations and sponsorship will go towards Chapter’s core work of supporting local people with severe and enduring mental illness.
Chapter’s tailored support includes one-to-one meetings, group activities, training, day trips and work placements.
Their support helps people to feel more confident, have improved mental health, make friends, and feel hope for the future. Chapter was formed by a group of psychiatric nurses and their patients and has provided support to over 2,500 people since 1991.
There are an estimated 3,000 people with severe and enduring mental illness in Cheshire West & Chester.
Chapter’s Matt Zeqiri said:
“It was an extraordinary day in an absolutely stunning setting, and it was great to see so many fundraisers getting out of their comfort zones for mental health. A ‘comfort zone’ is something that you don’t really have if you’ve got mental illness, so we thought it was a good theme for a fundraiser. The Cathedral is the iconic local landmark, so we’re really grateful that they were willing to accommodate us. We are a small charity, so £2,500 will make a big difference, but there’s still a lot more work to do to make sure our service continues to reach the people who need us.”
Professional photographer Heulwyn Roberts also donated her time to capture the day’s events. Roberts said:
“I volunteered to photograph Chapter’s Charity Abseil in Chester Cathedral to support a great cause. With close family members who suffer with their mental health, I know the importance of them getting the support not just at the height of their problems, but in every aspect of their lives. Chapter makes it possible for people suffering with mental health issue to work through them and find solutions every single day and it was important to me to support them in any little way I could.”
The event was facilitated by North West events company Challenge the Wild.