On Wednesday 5 September, Kate Leeves and a group of her friends took on England’s longest zip-wire to raise money for the Oncology and Chemotherapy Outpatients department at Derriford Hospital.
Kate along with 12 friends, whose ages range from 14 to 80, completed the ‘Hang Loose’ zip-wire over the Eden Project, which covers 660 metres and has a travelling speed of up to 60mph.
The group included 80 year-old Irene Hicks and her granddaughter, Laura Hernandez who helped Kate towards her fundraising target. Irene and Laura joined Kate and her parents, Gordon and Doreen Farwell when visiting the hospital recently to learn more about how the money will be spent. They met with Plymouth Hospitals Charity Manager, Corinne Bailey to present a cheque for £1994.79.
Corinne said: “From the moment Kate got in touch to say she was planning a participation event to complete the zip-wire and raise funds for the charity, we were in awe.
“Kate organised this fantastic event and had many friends and supporters release their ‘inner eagle’ as she called it. Raising nearly £2,000 is an incredible achievement and we are thrilled to announce that some of this money will be used to help open a tea shop in our Oncology outpatients department. This area supports people coming in for radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments.
“Kate was really keen that her donation was used to make things better for people and a tea shop is what our patients tell us they would like, so it’s a brilliant fit. A huge thank you to Kate, her family and friends, we think you’re amazing.”
Inspired by her friend and family members who have battled with cancer in recent years, Kate was determined to make a difference and when she saw an advert for the zip-wire, she knew she wanted to do something to help others in a similar situation.
“When I saw Hang Loose at the Eden project advertised on Facebook, it immediately gave me the idea to get a group of friends together to do this in aid of oncology and chemotherapy outpatients,” said Kate.
“Cancer has affected some of my close family, friends and work colleagues and their subsequent families and friends too.
“A group of 13, including myself, embraced our inner eagle and flew down the zip-wire. My friends and I hope that our fundraising results will help make their time in hospital more comfortable while they receive their treatment.”