Jedburgh grandmother to give May a flying start

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THE LONGEST zip slide in the UK will take place for charity in the Borders on Sunday May 1 – and a Jedburgh grandmother will be up for it, at the Penielheugh monument

Last year, Anthony Nolan supporters sped 1,000 feet down Penielheugh to raise money for the charity. This year the zip wire will be a record-breaking 500 feet longer.

And Pat Dawson will be taking up the challenge for the second time.

Regional fundraiser manager Allan Johnston said: “We’re really excited about this event – it was a massive success when we ran a 1,000 feet long zip slide from the monument last year.

“This year’s event is a huge 500 feet longer, so we are absolutely delighted to bring it back to the Borders.

“The scenery from the top of the monument makes for a truly breathtaking backdrop and we are confident that our supporters will be keen to get involved in what we believe will be a brilliant event.”

The record-breaking zip slide will start from the top of the monument, near Jedburgh, built to commemorate Wellington’s victory at the Battle of Waterloo.

The charity says it is thought to be the longest, highest and fastest zip slide anywhere in the UK.

Mr Johnston said: “The thrilling flight is over in 30 seconds but people will get a lasting buzz knowing they’ve helped save someone’s life. No previous experience is necessary as a team of highly skilled instructors will be on hand to ensure supporters have everything they need for a safe and fun slide.”

Pat Dawson had a stroke five years ago, but the intrepid pensioner from Headrig will climb the 226 steps to the top of Penielheugh to do the flying fox for charity.

She said: “I see the monument every day and I took part in the zip slide there for Anthony Nolan last year. That was one of the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. It was a little difficult to get over the rail but once out on the edge and away down the wire everything else was a blur.

“The stroke left me a little bit restricted but life is too short so when I saw this one was even longer I thought ‘why not, it is for a great cause’.”

Anthony Nolan helps save the lives of people with blood cancer.

Mr Johnston said: “Every day, we use our register to match people willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow to people they have never met who desperately need transplants.

“I am always amazed and inspired by supporters like Pat who have overcome adversity to help us raise funds for our lifesaving cause.”

The non-refundable entry fee is £10 per person and participants are asked to raise at least £125. For more information or to enter please contact Anthony Nolan on 0303 303 3000 or visit www.anthonynolan.org/zipslide.