Charity work is a tall order in Sheffield

Julia Denton makes her way down the tower
Julia Denton makes her way down the tower
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What heights would you go to for charity?

These students from The University of Sheffield would go very high... 256 dizzying feet high to be precise.

Thirty-eight daredevil students took part in a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to abseil down all 256ft of the tallest university building in the UK, raising money for local charities in and around Sheffield.

Rachel-Louise Gerrish, aged 21, studying journalism at the university, said: “The view from the top was beautiful but by the time it got around to my turn it was pitch black and actually quite frightening!”

Bad weather caused huge delays to both the morning and afternoon sessions.

Rachel had expected to be climbing her way back down at 1.30pm but didn’t start her descent until 7pm.

Rachel said: “I did the abseil with a chest camera attached to me as I was filming for my student media The Forge, but it turns out very little can be seen because it was so dark!”

The student was lucky to abseil at all. Two girls were unable to take part in the end as it was too late and the weather had worsened.

Rachel said: “I felt terrible for them, they were really devastated but they have been told their registration fees would be refunded.

“The abseil itself was fantastic.”

The abseil was run by RAG, which stands for ‘raising and giving’, a fundraising committee at The University of Sheffield.

Organisers hope to have raised around £4,000 from the abseil.

Participating students paid £20 for their place on the event, insurance, a certificate and fundraising support and had to raise a minimum sponsorship of £80.

A spokesperson for RAG said: “These amazing events offer a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our students.”

The abseil topped off an adrenalin-fuelled week at the university, which also included a firewalk session.

A group of students felt the heat as they walked over hot coals on the campus concourse.

Over the years students have taken part in a whole array of RAG events, from nocturnal starlit ramblings in the Peak District to legendary hitch-hikes across Europe. Last year RAG raised £174,627 for 120 charities by organising 138 fundraising events and activities.