It was cold, it was windy but it didn’t rain when 13 CAFOD supporters abseiled 110ft down the Harlow Water Tower to raise funds for clean water and sanitation and highlight the ‘Thirst for Change Campaign’.
Joanna from the CAFOD Brentwood office said ‘we were delighted in our 50th year to have so much support and to meet others who were also celebrating their 50th year – we hope to raise over £3,000 which the Government will match £1 for £1 through UK Aid – doubling donations and changing even more lives’.
St Benedict’s Catholic College Colchester, a great supporter of CAFOD, was represented by students Alice and Lisa aged 16, Chaplain, Stephen Bailey and teacher Paul French. Paul decided in his 50th year to face his fear of heights for a good cause and although still shaking long after he reached the ground he said it was a great experience!
Lisa said ‘I’m known for being quite shy so wanted to do something bold that would make a difference, I feel quite strongly that everyone should have a right to clean and safe water as I know how much it can benefit both the community and their economy’. They hope collectively to raise over £500.
Student Luke Matthews, 19 from St Therese of Liseux parish, Laindon told parishioners he would abseil upside down if he was pledged more then £350 and reached £365 – so was the first person in 15 years to abseil head first down the 110ft tower! You can watch a video of Luke abseiling upside down here >>
Anna Ralph aged 74 from Christ the Eternal High Priest, Gidea Park decided to ‘give it a go for a great cause’ and raised £382 from parish, Scouts and the local shop. Hans de Vrind aged 64 also a parishioner in Gidea Park has planned to abseil, cycle and sky dive for CAFOD and two other charities over the summer – he has so far raised a total £600 and hopes to raise more over the coming months.
Teacher Julie Gilligan, who works at St Joseph the Worker School, Hutton and comes from Kelveden Hatch near Brentwood, decided to do something different every month to celebrate her 50th year; May was CAFOD’s turn!
Lorraine Joyce and Bosco D’Souza from Our Lady Help of Christians and St Helen’s, Westcliff encouraged each other to take part and raised over £500 from parishioners and friends. Lorraine said
‘the ascent was terrifying but I really enjoyed coming down – the views were great.’
Peter Silvester from Chingford, a previous abseil participant, said despite being terrified of heights, it was a good fun way to raise money for a great cause. He hopes to raise £350 from friends and work colleagues.
Despite nearly missing her descent after taking 3 hours from Basildon to get there, Roisin Lancaster from St Therese parish said she thoroughly enjoyed the experience and may even do it again – now she knows the way!
Tom Jarvis, aged 16 a student from Davenant Foundation School and parishioner at St Edmunds Loughton said he was moved to take part when he heard that in Ethiopia the average person used 5 litres of water a day whilst in the UK one flush of a toilet uses up to 7 litres. Tom hopes to raise over £400.
Walter the Water Droplet also made an appearance to highlight the campaign. Taps and toilets save lives – they’re vital for health, education and dignity. The MDGs recognise this, as have the G8 and the UK in the past. But 783 million people still lack clean water, 2.5 billion are without safe sanitation, and climate change threatens to affect millions more.
Just a few days remain to take action to encourage the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to call on the G8 to:
• make real political and financial commitments to ensure the water and sanitation MDG is met by 2015
• endorse the ‘Sanitation and Water for All’ initiative to turn these promises into reality
• prioritise water and sanitation under his G8 Presidency in 2013 to ensure real progress is made.
You can take action here >>
A big thank you from Joanna, Mary and Denise at CAFOD Brentwood to everyone who took part – if abseiling is not for you maybe you would like to Pedal for Poverty in a 20 mile or 10 mile familly Bike ride on the 27th May through Lee Valley Park. More information here >>