COUNTY NEWS: Abseil from the i360 for children's charity

The public will get the chance to abseil from the top of the i360 for charity (Photograph: Kevin Meredith/i360)
The public will get the chance to abseil from the top of the i360 for charity (Photograph: Kevin Meredith/i360)

Thrill-seekers will get the chance to abseil from the top of the i360 in aid of Sussex children's charity Rockinghorse.

The first public abseil from the i360 pod will take place on March 17, and will see 30 fundraisers lowered from the pod at 450ft.

The iDrop abseil challenge will be operated by Belay Ropes Access, and the challenge is open to the first 30 people who sign up, who can pledge to raise at least £1,000 in sponsorship.

Steve Bax, executive director of the i360, said: “The view from the British Airways i360 pod at 450ft is quite breath-taking, and for the very first time we will be opening the doors while the pod is at the top of the tower and allowing members of the public who are brave enough to abseil back down again. The highly experienced team at Belay Ropes Access will be operating the event and we are all very excited that the participants will be raising funds for local children’s charity Rockinghorse.”

Iain Tindall, Belay Ropes Access director, said: “The sheer exposure of British Airways i360 is what makes this abseil special because unlike other venues, you are descending in open space rather than against a wall. And the position on the seafront makes it unique. I would challenge anyone not to feel a few nerves when faced with a 450ft drop, so even for experienced people, this will present a fearsome challenge.”

Rockinghorse is the fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton, which also supports the Trevor Mann Baby Unit at the Royal Sussex County Hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.

The charity abseil at British Airways i360 will help Rockinghorse to raise funds for a new specialist x-ray machine for premature babies at the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

Ryan Heal, Rockinghorse chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen as beneficiary of the very first iDrop challenge! This is certainly a unique event and a fantastic opportunity for any thrill-seeker to take on the 450ft drop. Having recently celebrated our 50th anniversary, this is a great start to 2018 and continuing to support local children’s centres and paediatric services across Sussex.”

The abseil will be tested on January 13 and 14, while British Airways i360 is closed for annual maintenance. During the two-week shutdown, which started yesterday (January 8) the attraction will also be subject to independent inspection and testing.

For full information about iDrop Abseil and to register, email