Fundraising duo from Bognor Co-op abseil for St Wilfrid’s Hospice

The fundraising team at work
The fundraising team at work

To kick start a week of charity awareness, daring colleagues at a Bognor retail store descended 100m down an iconic Hampshire landmark.

Sarah Tate and Mary Schooley, colleagues from Southern Co-op’s Bognor Regis store, raised £800 for St Wilfrid’s Hospice by abseiling down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower.

But the pair’s daring challenge was just the start of a whole host of different activities taking place during last week’s Charity Awareness Week.

Southern Co-op’s store in Hawthorn Road raised a total of £1,842.92 thanks to the support of local residents.

The fundraising activities included a bric-a-brac sale, cakes sale, wear pyjamas to work day, a hamper raffle, a book sale and guess the sweets in jar competition.

Sarah, who is already thinking up her next fundraising activity, said: “I am scared of heights but I thought an abseil was a great thing to do for charity.

“When we were stood up the top together, we saw that we had to step on a little platform and then had to sit down in your harness over the edge. We didn’t know if we were both going to be able to do it!

“But we both went for it and it was fantastic. Half way through I looked down and as I looked down the wind took my hands and feet away from the wall which was a bit scary. But overall it was fantastic and out of this world.

“St Wilfrid’s Hospice helped both of my friend’s parents. It is a great charity.”

St Wilfrid’s Hospice is the store’s chosen charity as part of Southern Co-op’s community engagement programme ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’.

The Southern Co-op’s community engagement programme ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ addresses four key social themes for promoting: ‘Greener’, ‘Healthier’, ‘Safer’, and ‘More Inclusive’ neighbourhoods.

Alisa Lakeman-Ford, trusts and corporates senior officer at St Wilfrid’s Hospice, said: “We are so very grateful to Debi and her team at the Hawthorn Road store. They have really entered into the spirit of the Charity Awareness Week and come up with some great ideas for fundraising for us.

“Debi made loads of amazing cupcakes for the cake sale on Monday, and the staff all wore their pyjamas to work on Tuesday for pyjama day. They had a different activity each day and the icing on the cake was Mary and Sarah abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower!

“This year it will cost just over £7.7 million to run St Wilfrid’s and we rely heavily on the generosity of our community to help us achieve it. Debi and her team are doing a great job of not only raising vital funds to keep us running but also raising awareness and I want to say a great big thank you to every single one of them!”