If they didn’t have a head for heights, they do now!

A team of 22 Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice supporters - aged from 16 to 73 - faced their fears and made a 160-foot descent down the side of one of Sheffield’s most iconic buildings over the Bank Holiday Weekend.

They took up the hospice’s first Abseil Challenge, throwing caution to the winds and raising over £5,000.

They clambered down the Owen Building at Sheffield Hallam University, a Steel City landmark bearing the words of Andrew Motion's famous poem, What if? which was penned for the city’s 2007 Off The Shelf Literary Festival.

Sheffield mum Claire Malcolmson, of Sheffield, took part in the Abseil in memory of her son Joe, who was cared for at the hospice until his death in 2015 at the age of eight. It would have been Joe’s 12th birthday that day. Claire had pledged to carry out fundraising challenges around the four elements of water, fire, air and earth. After a sponsored swim, firewalk and a wing walk, abseiling back down to the ground was her final challenge.

One group of seven braved the challenge after receiving places in the abseil as a Christmas present. A father and his 16-year-old daughter – Sheffielders Alexander and Isabel Hall – also took part, after finding out about the abseil the day before, having seen it on the hospice’s Facebook page.

The oldest participant was plucky septuagenarian Gaynor Carter. Gaynor, 73, is a member of the hospice’s North Sheffield Support Group and has helped to raise thousands for the hospice over the last ten years.

She said: “My family were surprised when I told them I was doing the abseil, but they gave me plenty of encouragement and support. My husband admitted afterwards that he was worried something might go wrong or I might chicken out at the last minute. He ought to know me better than that by now! I liked being up on the roof looking at the views and waving to the people below. The most scary bit was climbing over the parapet and getting my feet on a wooden platform but once I was in position, I became more confident and I found the descent really enjoyable.”

The hospice’s Head of Fundraising, Helen Mower, commented: “Our first Abseil Challenge was a towering success and will now be a fixture on our fundraising calendar. The valiant group who went ‘over the edge’ on our behalf have my utmost respect.”