Two brave volunteers took the fact this is a leap year quite literally with an adrenaline-filled ‘leap of faith’ at the Meadowhall Shopping Centre in Sheffield to raise money for the Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Darren Pearce, centre director at Meadowhall, and Claire Rintoul, chief executive of Bluebell Wood jointly abseiled down the 94.5ft curvature of the iconic dome at Meadowhall, completing the descent hand-in-hand to raise cash for the North Anston-based hospice.
It is only the second time in Meadowhall’s 25-year history that abseilers have been allowed on the dome, the first being to raise funds for injured British servicemen.
The event was also a celebration of Bluebell Wood becoming Meadowhall’s charity of the year for 2016-17.
Darren, who also heads up the Meadowhall charity support committee, explained: “I was excited but very nervous to be taking part in this event as it is a totally new experience for me.
“I’m more used to looking up at the dome than looking down from it but it got our new charity partnership off to a flying start!
Claire added: “What a fantastic opportunity to be involved in such an exciting fundraising activity for Bluebell Wood.
“I am so pleased to be kick-starting the fund-raising for this brilliant partnership with Meadowhall.
“Our supporters do lots of amazing things raise money for us and it’s great for me to challenge myself for the cause too.
“I see first-hand what a difference our charity makes to the lives of hundreds of children and their families.
“We’ve had our first successful fund-raising weekend at Meadowhall already and we’re very much looking forward to the rest of our partnership.
“We’re sure shoppers and staff will be raising money in some very creative ways.”
Bluebell Wood’s team of volunteers will be at Meadowhall’s orange zone car park, near Argos, on March 9 for shoppers to donate items to the hospice, while from March 11 to 13 volunteers will be the centre’s malls with a giant colour dash called Beat the Buzz.’
It costs more than £4 million a year to run the charity, so every penny raised makes a huge difference.