Mayoress and Chief Executive climb the O2
The Mayoress of Haslemere, Councillor Jacquie Keen, conquered her fear of heights when she climbed across the dome of the 02 at the end of September, raising hundreds of pounds for local charities. She was accompanied by Dr Ross White, the chief executive of Holy Cross on the strenuous walk that takes participants 52 metres above the ground and includes gradients as steep as 33 degrees.
Dr White says that despite torrential rain earlier in the day, both he and the Mayoress enjoyed the challenge and are extremely thankful to the many people who have donated so far to the pair’s chosen charities: “Together we have raised over £1,500 which will be shared between Holy Cross Hospital and the Mayor’s charities. We would love to reach £2,000 and there is still time to donate if you would like to support some wonderful charities.”
The Mayoress, Councillor Jacquie Keen, says: “Climbing to over 50 metres in height and walking over the dome was somewhat outside of my comfort zone but thrilling nevertheless and a challenge I was glad to accept to raise money for some of our excellent local causes. The Stroke Club, Haslemere Museum and Haslewey Community Centre, along with Holy Cross Hospital, will all benefit from people’s generous donations.”
“The beginning and end of the climb were the toughest parts as that is where the gradient is steepest,” says Dr White “but the effort pays off once you get to the top and enjoy panoramic views all around. It’s an exhilarating experience and reminded me of why we’re raising money for our Treehouse project, to build a wheelchair accessible platform among the trees in the hospital grounds so our patients can enjoy the sensation of being in the breeze and high up among the trees, birds and wildlife.”
The walk across the dome reveals the numerous symbols in the building: its 12 large pillars, 52 metre height and 365 metre diameter represent the number of months, weeks and days in a year. The dome itself, including the walkway, is made of rubberised canvas.