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Hitachi Capital employees abseil Blade building in Reading for charity

Procurement compliance officer Jill Longford and project manager John Stephenson accepted the challenge of abseiling the Blade in Reading, which is 282ft at its tallest point. Originally aiming to raise £1 for every foot they each descended vertically from the 13th floor of the building, their combined target was £784.00 but they have already quadrupled this with donations from Hitachi Capital employees, and the final sum is set to rise as fund raising continues to the end of the month. 

Starting more than 196ft above ground level, the Blade was 30ft taller than training sessions John and Jill had completed three weeks earlier at Clifton Suspension Bridge and the two also experienced a small challenge from trees causing an obstruction towards the end of the abseil route. To see videos, click here and here

The donations will go to the Naomi House and Jacksplace children and young adult charity. The hospices support families across southern England, offering a full palliative care service that includes respite, emergency and end-of-life care for life-limited and life-threatened children and young adults from birth and into their later years.

John Stephenson said: “It was a terrific if slightly terrifying experience. The building was a lot higher than we had trained for, and smooth rather than rough like the cliff faces, but thankfully the weather was good to us on the day and everyone was extremely supportive.” 

Jill Longford added: “Every step not only took us one step closer to solid ground, but also raised an extra pound for this important charity. Some of the circumstances Naomi House and Jacksplace support are truly heart-breaking; we’re so pleased to be able to raise a considerable amount which has far exceeded what I or John could have hoped for.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.