Charity abseil hits the heights



Craig MacLellan

The Falkirk Wheel provided the scene for this year’s annual charity abseil, which is raising money in aid of The Beatson Pebble Appeal.

The abseil event, which is now in its eighth year, saw 110 University of Glasgow students, staff and alumni descend the 115 foot structure, raising £16,000 in the process, with more money still to come in.

Claire Laidlaw, Corporate Events Co-ordinator at the Development and Alumni Office, was pleased with the event and would be more than happy to return to the Falkirk Wheel again in the future.

She said: “It was a great success and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The Falkirk Wheel was a good venue, especially for friends and family watching. We would use it again but are always considering other venues to give people some variation.”

The event is contributing towards a £10m campaign to raise funds to build the Beatson Translational Research Centre, which is the final element in the creation of the Glasgow Centre for Cancer Research.

The building, which will be based at Garscube, will cost approximately £19.2 million and will be a University of Glasgow facility. When the new centre is complete, it will convert basic cancer research into improvements in treatment for patients.

It will focus on the common tumours that cause the most deaths in Scotland, such as endocrine (breast, prostate and ovarian); smoking-related (lung, throat, oral) and gastrointestinal cancer.

Although the University has taken a large role in developing the centre, it is doing so in conjunction with Cancer Research UK, the Beatson Institute and the Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board. Since the campaign was launched in the summer of 2007, over £5m has been raised.

Three members of the SRC sabbatical team — Laura Laws, Morven Boyd and Sophie Hall — took part in the event.

SRC President, Laura, explained how, despite suffering serious nerves, shee managed to take the plunge.

She said:  “I was absolutely terrified at the top — the man had to talk me over.  Once I’d reached the bottom though, I was so proud that I’d done it.”

Morven, Vice President (Learning and Development), commented on the support everyone gave each other and the atmosphere at the event.

She said:  “I took part since it was a team effort between the three of us. The atmosphere on the day was great and I didn’t have time to actually think about what I was doing.”

Sophie, Vice President (Student Support), when asked if she would do it again said: “Yes — in a heartbeat.”

The annual event usually takes place at the Glasgow University Bell Tower, but was moved to the Falkirk Wheel due to maintenance being carried out on the tower.

The rotating boat lift, which was opened in 2002 by the Queen as part of her Golden Jubilee Celebrations, connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal.

It has become one of Scotland’s most distinctive engineering projects and has featured on £50 notes issues by the Bank of Scotland since 2007.


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