On Friday 16th April 2021, 18 intrepid individuals embarked on the 'Walk the Big One' Challenge.
A number of Service Care Solutions staff, along with friends and family, completed the walk to raise funds for Cash For Kids, a charity that we work closely with throughout the year.
The Big One is a rollercoaster situated at Blackpool Pleasure Beach. It was built in 1994 and, at the time, it was the tallest and steepest rollercoaster in the world! It remains, to this day, the tallest in the UK - so climbing it on foot is no mean feat!
We were welcomed by Nikki and the team from Cash for Kids, who were very excited to be hosting an actual real life 'in-person' event following the easing of lockdown restrictions! The evening began with a safety briefing by Pleasure Beach staff and then involved us (in groups of six) getting kitted up in hard hats and safety harnesses ready for the big climb.
Martin Cookson, of the Criminal Justice Division, was in the first group to go up and, as someone with a real fear of heights, he was rather apprehensive (having his wife and two daughters there to cheer him on must have helped though). He climbed up the 420 steps and was back down before he knew it with rosy cheeks and a smile on his face. I was really pleased to see this as I was up next...
I, personally, don't mind heights too much but, I must admit, it made me feel a bit dizzy and sick to look down at the ground when we reached the top! I was also worried about the physical side of it as that's a lot of height to climb when you're out of practice due to the gyms being closed - it was fine though as we stopped every 50ft just to check everyone was ok. The view at the top was amazing and we had the perfect weather for it. It was around 7.30pm by the time we reached the summit so the sun was starting to lower and we could see as far as the lake district and Southport.
It was actually a bit harder coming down the steps as it was difficult to concentrate on your footing, feed your safety line along the track and keep hold of the handrail all while descending such an enormous structure! Coming back 'down to earth' though with a burst of adrenaline and real sense of accomplishment made it all worth it. HR Advisor Jessica John was joined by her husband and they went up in the final group, being lucky enough to see the sunset over the Fylde Coast.
Between the whole team, we have raised almost £3000, which is a huge achievement and we would like to say thank you to all involved; whether that be through sponsorship or through participating in the actual walk.
We would like to give a special mention to the family of an old school pal of mine, who reached out to me after she saw what we were doing on social media. She offered a substantial donation towards the cause from her late grandfather's charitable trust. A man of great standing, Denis Greenwood CBE was the CEO of Greenwoods Menswear Group and had a history of military service, having been a PTI in the RAF. Latterly, he became chairman for Leeds Rhinos Rugby League. The DW Charitable Trust was set up in 1977 and has supported hundreds of charities over the years, including lots of children's' charities. His granddaughter, Rebecca, said how great it is to be able to support causes such as this and commented on what great work Cash for Kids do for children both in the local region and across the UK. On behalf of the charity and on behalf of Service Care Solutions, we would like to say a huge thank you to Rebecca and her family.
We are always looking for fresh talent to join us here at our HQ in Preston and for candidates across a number of sectors (including healthcare, construction, legal and social work) nationwide. Please contact us if you are looking for a role or are looking to recruit.
If you would like to donate to this fantastic cause, please click here.