19 Feb 2014

Sports and TV stars get set for BT Tower charity abseil

Castle Climbing

A host of brave volunteers from the world of sport and television are getting ready to take part in a daring drop down BT Tower in central London to raise money for Sport Relief and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund - via the MyDonate online fundraising site.

The daredevil team will abseil down from the 29th floor of BT Tower on Monday 10 March. It will include intrepid adventurer Bear Grylls, TV presenter Helen Skelton, former Lion and England rugby world cup winner Ben Kay, former England rugby star Martin Bayfield and Olympic and World Champion swimmer Mark Foster.

Leading the charge on behalf of BT will be chief executive Gavin Patterson who will be accompanied by six former military staff who now work for BT. Major General Ed Davis CBE will lead a group from the Royal Marines. They will also be joined by executives from Premiership Rugby.

The idea for the challenge came from BT chairman Sir Mike Rake, a keen supporter of the Royal Marines. The event will kick off a year of commemorations for the 350th anniversary of the Royal Marines, during which the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund aims to reach its four-year campaign target of raising £6million.

Sport Relief

The abseil will also form a part of Sport Relief’s fundraising activities. Money raised will be shared between the two causes and all those taking part will have undergone rigorous training with the Royal Marines, who will be in charge of the abseil on the day.

Helen Skelton, TV presenter said: “Walking backwards off the BT Tower is certainly going to be intimidating but it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and if we are with the Marines, I am more than confident we will be in safe hands.

” Gavin Patterson, BT said: “I’m delighted that BT Tower is hosting this event, particularly as it is a momentous year for the Royal Marines. Given that I’m not the greatest fan of heights, this is going to be a mental challenge as well as a physical one for me. I’m concentrating on the two terrific charities that will benefit from our fundraising and the fact that all the money donated via MyDonate will go directly to them.”

Major General Ed Davis CBE, Commandant General Royal Marines said: “I’m delighted that the Royal Marines are supporting BT on this abseil at the start of our 350th anniversary year. It promises to be a great day for everyone taking part, including my own Royal Marines Corps family, where we hope to raise a vast amount of money for Sport Relief and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund – two charities that really do make a difference to the quality of life of people in need and inspiring young people to achieve their potential.”

Kevin Cahill, chief executive at Comic Relief, said: “This innovative abseil is yet another example of BT, one of our key partners, going the extra mile for Sport Relief – meaning that we can help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people in the UK and across the world.”

For further details and to sponsor an abseiler please visit www.bt.com/bttowerabseil

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