TWO daredevils who braved the Big Abseil over the weekend have raised hundreds of pounds for their places of work.

Sarah Forbes raised £652 for The Chalet School and Tracy Cox raised £500 for The Olive Tree Cafe by travelling to the top of the Jurys Inn and abseiling 700ft down its side.

The event was organised by 1st Dorcan Scout Group to raise money for their organisation and any others that more than 200 participants wanted to support.

Sarah said: “I didn’t ever dream that I’d raise this much, it’s a wonderful amount.

“I was nervous before I went up there but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, it was a fun day.

“I could hear my friends and family cheering me on as I went over the edge, and James the scout leader was very calm and reassuring.

The 54-year-old from Liden was accompanied by her 14-year-old daughter Naomi, who reached the ground before her.

Sarah added: “It was really good, I’d definitely do it again.

“Naomi was fine afterwards but my muscles were aching.

“I had a glass of wine when I got home to congratulate myself.”

The money they raised will go towards improvements and additions to the garden at the The Chalet School for children with autism and learning difficulties.

Tracy Cox has worked at the Olive Tree Cafe for two years and decided to take part in the Big Abseil to fundraise for the cafe, which employs and helps people recovering from mental illness.

The 49-year-old from Freshbrook said: “It was really cool, I wanted to do it again straight away.

“I really quite like heights so that wasn’t a problem for me, though it really hit home when I saw the top of the Christchurch steeple.

“My husband Vinny, my youngest daughter Jenna May and three Olive Tree volunteers watched me.

“They said I was nuts when I told them I was doing it, it was on my bucket list.

“It was over quite quickly, it only took a few minutes and the longest bit was actually going over the top.”

The money will go towards paying for new equipment, training, and anything else the volunteers at the cafe need.

To donate to The Chalet School, visit

To donate to the Olive Tree Cafe, visit