The Ladies of Police CPI Abseil for COPS
On the last weekend in September 2023, four brave colleagues set out to conquer Portsmouth’s 170ft Spinnaker Tower, abseiling down the iconic building to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The team from Police Crime Prevention Initiatives (Police CPI) consisted of Secured by Design Development Officers Lyn Poole and Hazel Goss, the Academy’s Amanda Mulholland, and Alex Morley, Head of HR for Police CPI.
l-r: Amanda, Lyn, Alex and Hazel are all smiles at the base of the Spinnaker Tower
The charity benefiting from the team’s bravery, Care of Police Survivors (COPS), provides peer support opportunities and access to counselling services to help surviving family members rebuild their shattered lives after their loved ones die on duty. As Police CPI’s Nominated Charity, COPS has benefited from a number of fundraising activities from various team members, including those who camped in the rain on the Lake District’s Birkhouse Moor for the annual Light the Lakes event back in June.
Fortunately for the abseilers, the weather was in the team’s favour for this event. Arriving at the site on the warm and sunny Saturday morning, the Spinnaker Tower looked resplendent against the backdrop of a clear blue sky.
Several thrill seekers, including an adventurous 88-year-old, were already descending the landmark when Lyn, Hazel, Amanda and Alex arrived, nervous and excited.
The team was kitted out in personalised t-shirts with both COPS and Police CPI branding, as well as logos of the Secured by Design member companies who sponsored the abseil – Solon Security, Ahmarra, Strongdor, Urmet and Zaun. Numerous other donations were made, far exceeding the £500 target that was originally set.
l-r: Hazel, Amanda, Lyn and Alex contemplate their decisions
The Spinnaker Tower website states that, ‘with unmissable views across Portsmouth harbour, the Solent and the Isle of Wight, there is no better reason to experience life on the edge.’ However, a great deal of the view was certainly missed as one by one, the ladies inched themselves over the edge and began their descent, eyes and hands firmly locked on the safety equipment guiding them back to solid ground.
After what probably seemed like a lifetime to the ladies and 5-10 minutes in reality, Lyn, Hazel, Amanda and Alex returned to terra firma, filled with relief, adrenaline and a sense of pride. The group received their challenge medals then settled down for a well-earned drink, along with family members who came to watch.
The team did a fantastic job, absolutely smashing through their original fundraising target to raise £1,850 for COPS. The JustGiving page is live and there’s still time to donate!
To find out more about the Police CPI Nominated Charity, COPS, visit their website here.
l-r: Amanda, Alex, Hazel and Lyn on their descents
Here’s what they had to say about the experience:
Amanda: “For me, it was an amazing opportunity for a personal achievement combined with being able to raise money for COPS – the support between the four of us who did the abseil was just brilliant, and we’re really grateful for all of the sponsorship amounts big and small.”
Lyn: “Waiting to go, I stupidly volunteered to go last - petrified. Stepping out to get ready to abseil - petrified. Going slowly down, not looking down or hardly side to side - Petrified! Having Hazel, Amanda and Alex shouting encouragement helped. Then touch down, and sheer relief to have made it."
Hazel – “I have always wanted to do an abseil and when the opportunity produced the chance to raise monies for a very worthy charity, COPS, I just had to do it. The fear hit me when I had to step out over that ledge and looked down. I felt sick and thought, ‘why am I doing this?!’ It’s been the best experience ever and I am very proud of us all with what we have achieved. Thank you all for your support, I couldn’t have done it without you guys!”
Alex – “The 100m Spinnaker Tower abseil was a fantastic opportunity to raise money for such a worthy cause with amazing colleagues. The encouragement we gave each other helped tackle any nerves and our pride for each other when we achieved our goal demonstrates the great teamwork we have here at Police CPI.”
Well done ladies – we can’t wait to see what you do next time!
l-r: Lyn, Alex, Amanda and Hazel - well done ladies!