A care worker from Colchester beat her fear of heights as she has raised funds for St Helena Hospice in Colchester by abseiling down a 418ft tower.

Laura Birch, lifestyle coordinator at Alderwood Care Home tackled the extreme abseil at the National Lift Tower in Northampton to generate money for the hospice.

These efforts, along with other fundraising activities like quiz nights and raffles organised by the care home raised £2,590 to support the hospice’s end-of-life efforts.

Since 2016, Ms Birch has been working at Alderwood, and her role includes organising fun activities for residents.

Ms Birch said: "Supporting our local community is something everyone is really committed to at Alderwood and since 2019, St Helena Hospice has been our chosen charity.

"The team there provide vital care and support to people in and around Colchester and we have been more determined than ever this year to plan something big to help raise even more money for them."

Kayleigh from St Helena Hospice accepts the donation from Pamela, Laura, and home manager Nikki (L-R)  (Image: Alderwood Care Home)

She added that abseiling was a personal challenge, as she had developed a fear of heights over the years.

When her original abseiling partner opted out, Ms Birch's 69-year-old mother, former nurse Pamela Adams, joined her in the daunting endeavour.

Ms Birch added: "Mum said that at her age she is willing to try anything and was thrilled to take on a new experience."

She also added: "The actual descent was physically harder than I imagined, especially as the wind was blowing us away from the tower.

“I wouldn’t go as far as to say I really enjoyed it, but I was proud of myself for doing it and overwhelmed by the support and donations from colleagues, residents, and residents’ friends and families."

St Helena Hospice offers palliative and end of life care in north-east Essex, extending help to the patients, their families, and friends.

Kayleigh Jowers, senior events fundraiser at St Helena, said: "The team at Alderwood, and especially Laura, are superstars.

"With their support, more local people can live and die well with compassion, dignity, and choice."