Dudley Mayor abseils from college rooftop for charity

The Mayor of Dudley battled nerves to abseil from Dudley College rooftop as part of a day long charity abseil event.

Staff and students at the college have been running the event for several years, with each year having a nominated charity, although people can also fundraise for their own charities too. Participants abseil 60feet from the top of the ‘evolve’ college building into Coronation Gardens.

The event ran all day and the Mayor took the plunge on behalf of this year’s Mayoral Charities; Dudley Community First Responders, Mary Stevens Hospice, Ups and Downs and Prostate Cancer UK.

The college itself supported The Whitehouse and the Ronnie and Friends charity, a baby bereavement charity raising funds towards a new parent bereavement room at Russells Hall Hospital. The Mayor of Dudley, Councillor Andrea Goddard, said:

"I never thought I’d find myself abseiling from Dudley College rooftop in my first full month as Mayor! It was rather nerve wracking but Phil, the other staff and students were so friendly, welcoming and professional that I was able to overcome my nerves!

"I’m so glad I could take part and it was wonderful to see so many of our young people joining in and raising money for these important charities."

Neil Thomas, Dudley College’s CEO and principal followed the Mayor, abseiling immediately after her. The whole event was supported by expert staff and qualified climbing instructors Simon Mcphee and Paul Hartridge who kept everyone safe on the abseil. Level 3 photography students from the college - Hollie Carrington, Jordy Webb, Miah Bryan, Corey Challenger, Cassidy Woodrow and Mel Barnett – documented the day with Hollie capturing the moment the Mayor went over the top. Phil Brooks, lecturer in photography at Dudley College said:

"The Mayor did a fantastic job, overcoming her nerves to take part in the event. We had more than 40 students and staff taking part and we’ve raised around £400 for charity.

"The students supported on the day too and I’m grateful to our photography student who helped to document the event. We will be continuing our fundraising efforts throughout the year and encourage people to keep an eye on our website for updates."

Staff and students have already raised thousands of pounds for the Ronnie and Friends charity and have documented their efforts along the way, which they recently transformed into a book, a copy of which was given to the Mayor of Dudley when she attended their recent OUR ARTSFEST exhibition.

Ronnie and Friends was founded to support Dudley Group NHS Charity Baby Bereavement by College employee Aimee Garratt, in memory of her son Ronnie. Benefiting from the huge support she received from the trained midwifes and the sanctuary of the specialist bereavement delivery suite at Russells Hall hospital Aimee was motivated to set up her own charity to help other mothers receive the kind of support she valued.


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