Brave Waltham Forest team joins charity abseil

Paul Mitchell

Paul Mitchell from Leytonstone gets ready to abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower

A team of Barnardo’s charity workers from Waltham Forest joined a group of celebrities for a nail-biting 80-metre descent from the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Colleagues from Barnardo’s London Independent Supporter Service (BLISS), based in Church Hill, Walthamstow, grappled with their fears for the terrifying drop alongside BBC Radio 1 DJ Adele Roberts, actor Kate Holderness, and comedian London Hughes.

Leading the daredevils from BLISS, which supports children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities alongside their families, was team manager and Leytonstone resident Paul Mitchell.

Paul said: “I’d flown back from holiday at 3am on the morning of the abseil, and although I was really tired, the experience was a huge thrill.

“It was inspiring to be up there and to look out on all the parts of east London that I know so well, where our team has supported hundreds of parents and carers whose children have special educational needs or disabilities.”

Everyone who took part donated funds or was sponsored, with the aim of raising £10,000 overall for Barnardo’s, the UK’s largest children’s charity.

Barnardo’s chief executive Javed Khan said: “Having taken part in the event last year I know how nerve-wracking it is to abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit tower and I’m extremely grateful to everyone who took part and helped raise funds to help us continue our vital work.

“Children are at the heart of everything we do, so it was great to see our courageous service users enjoying the challenge. Barnardo’s believes in children and they showed that if they believe in themselves they can achieve amazing things.”

To find out more about fundraising for Barnado’s: