Look out below!
Reporter: DAWN MARSDEN
Date online: 16 December 2013
THE only way was down for Oldham Council leader Jim McMahon and deputy chief executive Carolyn Wilkins as they took up a 150ft charity abseil challenge.
The daredevils were joined by members of Oldham Youth Council, councillors Steve Bashforth and Jenny Harrison, council chief of staff Mark Reynolds and other fundraisers in their descent of the Civic Centre tower — the town’s tallest building — on Saturday.
Speaking moments after his feet touched solid ground, a relieved Councillor McMahon said: “I am not a fan of heights.
“We did a practice run last week which terrified me, but when I saw the amount of money that people had donated I knew there was no way I could back out.
“Though the views from the top of the Civic Centre are absolutely beautiful, I didn’t look over the edge. I stayed focused on the rope and willed it not to break. Once you start the descent, you have very little control so it is really scary. I’m pretty sure abseiling 150ft down a building is not in the job description of Oldham Council leader!”
Mrs Wilkins, who will become interim chief executive when Charlie Parker leaves to join Westminster Council in January, added: “I am not really one for doing anything dangerous, so I never thought I would find myself abseiling 150ft down a building.
“When I stood at the top I just wanted to get it over with so I came down quite fast. But I got there in the end. Reaching the ground was an amazing feeling!
“We have raised a fantastic amount of money so far and it does make all the fear and trepidation worth it.”
The group’s efforts have so far raised more than £2,200 for the Co-operative Oldham Fund which is managed by Voluntary Action Oldham and part of a wider campaign — Action Oldham — which helps people give their time, resources and skills to benefit their communities.
To donate visit https://mydonate.bt.com/events/actionabseil
Have Your Say