Taking a leap

Today saw the biannual charity Forth Bridge ‘Ultimate Abseil’ in Edinburgh, organised by Chest Heart & Stroke Scotland. I attended for the first time today, in part to show my support for the many incredible organisations raising funds and awareness over the course of the day, but more specifically to back OneKind, an Edinburgh based charity working to end suffering of animals in all corners of the UK.

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I’d decided to go along today, not to abseil myself – sadly – but to support all those taking up this incredible challenge to raise money and awareness for animal welfare. One lady I met even jumped off dressed as a polar bear.

I had never been along to the Forth bridge abseil before, and have to admit to being blown away (thankfully not literally – although it was pretty windy on top of that bridge) by the level of support and commitment shown by the hundreds of people who scaled the enormous structure and dangled off it for charity. I was honoured to be asked to take some of the groups up the bridge and had such an incredible time chatting to them about why they were there. When myself and the other volunteers weren’t showing varying degrees of terrified people towards their fate, we spent the time getting to know one another in the charity sector and find out more about one another’s roles and why we all do what we do.

Clearly the Ultimate Abseil isn’t an ‘animal’ event as such, yet there were so many people who had chosen to take part in the day for OneKind, SSPCA, and no doubt several other animal causes too. It really made me feel proud to be part of a collective of people, who each in their different ways are doing all they can to help improve the lives of our furry friends. Whether you’re volunteering, working in a charity role, jumping off a bridge or giving what you can to support those taking on these challenges, days like today really made me feel like you and I are all in it together.It can feel incredibly lonely at times, battling through the ever changing world of animal welfare. So many people seem to disregard the issue as one of lesser importance than other more prominent causes. We all have our reasons for supporting the causes we align ourselves with and those reasons are often as important to us as the cause itself. Today, watching groups of people of all ages, backgrounds, shapes and sizes be strapped in and clipped on in the name of animals, I felt incredibly moved. Today was one of those rare occasions when reasons didn’t need to be explained or revealed. Not only were all the animal folk in it together, they were doing it alongside hundreds of people who ‘got’ it too. It didn’t matter if you were jumping for animals, cancer, children or blindness, you were jumping because you cared. And every one of us working there alongside you cared too.

Every single person involved with today should feel immensely proud. From the abseilers to the organisers, an incredible day was pulled together and delivered. Charities up and down the UK benefitted and hopefully, a few more people out there got to know about the amazing work this astounding array of organisations are delivering.The Ultimate Abseil is a great way to raise money to help support the work of organisations like OneKind and SSPCA. For more information, or to sign up for the October abseil, please click on this link:

http://www.chss.org.uk/supportus/fundraise-for-us/events/ultimate-abseil/

Look forward to seeing you all there!

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