The night 24 Santas dropped 450 feet for Chestnut Tree House

Just two months ago I did my first ever abseil for Chestnut Tree House - and now I am a dab hand at it.

On Friday (November 23), I completed my second abseil for the charity - and this time it was a more unique experience.

Dressed as Santa - along with 24 others - I descended in dark from the British Airways i360 Tower in Brighton.

The 24 people who conquered the Santa Night iDrop all raised £285 each - that's the cost to cover an hour of all the care costs at Chestnut Tree House - so the event help raise enough money to cover the care at the hospice for a day.

Chestnut Tree House is a children’s charity providing hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions throughout East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove and South East Hampshire. For more information visit their website at www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/
While I was in the pod (I was the last to do the drop) I spoke to all the other 'Santas' to ask them about why they were doing this challenge for the charity - and it was truly inspiring to hear the stories.

The 'Santas' were a mixture of people who just wanted to raise money, who wanted to get involved with the charity and some who had first hand experience of the incredible work the hospice does. These were amazing people who were doing an amazing thing.

The Santas in the British Airways i360

The Santas in the British Airways i360

As mentioned, two months ago I dropped 180ft down the side of Arundel Castle in daylight. The i360 was a 450ft drop in the dark.

After watching the other Santas go through the process of preparing to drop with varying levels of nervousness, I thought I would breeze through it. But I didn't. That moment where you are told to walk backwards to the edge and then lean back is probably the most nerve-wracking thing I have done (I have lived a pretty sheltered life!).

But once I was descending, it was an amazing and surreal experience. There was about two minutes where I felt like the only person in the world - it was peaceful, still and a beautiful vista. It was a great time to reflect on why I - and the other Santas - were doing this.

On question I asked everyone I chatted to was 'what would you say to anyone who was thinking of doing a challenge to help raise money for Chestnut Tree House?' and without any hesitation the majority said 'just go for it'. I couldn't agree more. If you feel like getting involved - just go for it. Visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/
SEE ALSO Why I am dropping 180ft down Arundel Castle's iconic tower | Abseiling down Arundel Castle for Chestnut Tree House was an incredible experience | Sussex’s Chestnut Tree House welcomes Duchess of Cambridge’s message of support to mark Children’s Hospice Week

Some of the Santas get strapped in

Some of the Santas get strapped in