Our Trustee Louise Makin relives the moment she challenged her fears
As we approach the City Three Peaks Challenge, the longest civilian abseil and the biggest challenge in Outward Bound's history on 7 September 2015, our Trustee Louise Makin relives the moment she stepped out of her comfort zone and descended The Shard on behalf of The Trust and explains why she would do it again.
On an overcast September morning in 2012 when I found myself holding onto the top of The Shard, (currently the tallest building in Western Europe), with nothing but the sky for company I had to stop and ask myself how someone who categorically does not do heights had got talked into doing this. And, more importantly, how was I going to get myself down! I gave myself a talking to, pulled myself together and completed my part of the abseil down The Shard. It will remain one of my finest and most surprising achievements, and this is all thanks to my role as a Trustee of The Outward Bound Trust.
It is not every day that you abseil down The Shard, and it is not every day that you have the opportunity to be involved with such an inspiring organisation. The Outward Bound Trust offers young people the opportunity to experience and learn from activities and environments which they may not otherwise have access to. It enables them to meet new people and learn to work with them, to challenge themselves, and put themselves outside of their comfort zones. It is confidence building, and allows attendees to discover skills and qualities within themselves that they had no idea they had. And, in many cases, it can be life changing for the individuals involved. It can help lay the foundations for bright futures, opening out no end of new possibilities.
Trustees are able to offer their experience, knowledge and support to The Trust, giving advice and aiding decisions. For me personally, being able to put some of my business experience to good use somewhere where it can make a real difference and ultimately have an impact on the lives of the individuals that attend an Outward Bound course is hugely rewarding. It is also a real privilege to get to work with and meet many of the dedicated individuals that work hard for the Trust every day.
I sometimes get asked would I abseil down The Shard again, has it cured my fear of heights. I did say never again, but then I remember the time when I was on a rainy hillside in the Lake District with a group of young people from an inner city London school, watching them discover what they were capable of, and then the answer is easy, if it’s to raise money for The Outward Bound Trust, then yes.
The Outward Bound Trust City Three Peaks Challenge in conjunction with The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity is a breathtaking abseiling endeavour on the greatest urban mountain range: The City of London.
On Monday 7th September 2015, a select, daredevil group will abseil from the top of three of the City's most iconic buildings – 30 St Mary Axe, The Leadenhall Building and 20 Fenchurch Street, otherwise known as The Gherkin, The Cheesegrater and The Walkie-Talkie, 1,916ft down to the ground below.
This epic descent - the longest civilian abseil in history and the first time anyone has ever abseiled down these buildings before - will raise life-changing funds for The Outward Bound Trust and The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity: transforming the lives of young people as well as serving and former naval personnel and their families in the UK.
For further information, to sign up or to donate visit citythreepeaks.org