A leap of faith for Marie Curie Hospice

Wednesday March 21st 2012

Claire Geoghegan looks relaxed and smiling as she steps over the precipice of the Europa Hotel!A number of courageous members of staff at Church of Ireland House, Belfast, took a leap of faith when they stepped off the roof of the Europa Hotel.

They were part of a 20–strong group raising funds for Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Accounts staff David Cromie, Loraine Brown and Helen Conville, Claire Geoghegan from Board of Education and Dorothy McChesney from the Good Book Shop all signed up to abseil from the top of the Europa to support colleagues Margaret Yarr and Sylvia Lockhart who are taking part in Marie Curie’s Trek Cambodia challenge in October.

Margaret, Sylvia and four others make up Team Esther and together they are aiming to raise £19,500.

Team Esther is so–named in tribute to Sylvia’s late mother Esther White, who had suffered from cancer. Sylvia’s brother William has been successfully treated from throat cancer, and both Esther and William received great support from Marie Curie Cancer Care.

Church of Ireland House staff Margaret Yarr and Sylvia Lockhart who are taking up Marie Curie's Trek Cambodia challenge.To date the team has raised more than £12,000 through a variety of activities including bag packs, coffee mornings, a social night, clothes recycling and car boot sales.

It is hoped the sponsored abseil will bring in around £2,000.

For Claire Geoghegan the abseiling challenge was something of a white knuckle ride. “I was fine until we were doing the practice run with the rope on the roof,” Claire said.

A nervous smile from Helen Conville as she steps off the roof of the Europa Hotel!
“My legs were shaking as I stepped over the edge onto a piece of wood which was quite wobbly. I was very glad to get my feet onto the concrete wall! I looked neither right nor left, but focused on the instructor who was above me.”

Claire took about five minutes to descend the 51 metre high walls of the city centre hotel and was glad to be back on terra firma. “I can’t say I hated it, but I won’t be taking it up as a hobby,” she admitted.

Sylvia, Margaret and the other members of Team Esther will be in Cambodia from October 5–12 this year, trekking up to eight hours a day through mountains, rice paddies, farmland, high plateau and even jungle. The funds they raise will support the Marie Curie Hospice in Belfast.

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