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Courageous Chief Executives take on Cliff Hanger Challenge for children

Author: Sue Boucher
03 March 2017
  • Chief Executives Barbara Gelb and Catriona Marshall are determined to raise funds to help support thousands of children with palliative care needs in the UK

Together for Short Lives' CEO, Barbara Gelb OBE, and Hobbycraft Chief Executive, Catriona Marshall, have committed themselves to a difficult and scary challenge in order to raise funds for children needing palliative care in the UK.

In April, Together for Short Lives' Chief Executive Officer, Barbara Gelb OBE, will be taking on a tough Cliff Hanger Challenge to raise money for thousands of seriously ill children and their families in the UK. To accompany her on this adventure, Barbara has 'roped in' Catriona Marshall, the Chief Executive of Hobbycraft. 

Together for Short Lives is the leading UK charity that speaks out for all children and young people who are expected to have short lives. Their research has shown that there are 49,000 children and young people living in the UK with health conditions that are life-shortening or life-threatening—and the number is rising. 

To raise awareness and funds for these children and their families, on the night of 27 April 2017, Catriona and Barbara will be heading to Snowdonia to do a 175 ft (53.34m) climb in the dark, after which they will spend the night sleeping in a tent suspended from the rock face. To complete the challenge, the next morning they will abseil down the same cliff face.

Facing their fears
The intrepid duo are facing their fears to shine a light on the 49,000 children in the UK with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. In her blog 'My challenge of a Lifetime' on the Together for Short Lives website, Barbara says, "This year I’m taking on a challenge of epic proportions - and I wanted to shout all about it!" 

Barbara gives one simple reason for taking on such a difficult challenge - to shine a light on the 49,000 children in the UK with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions. 

In her words, "Nothing can prepare you for the news that your child is going to die young. The families we support often speak of the isolation and fear they experience when their child is diagnosed, and the daily challenges they face in their lives. And although there are some excellent services, too many families struggle to get the care they need." 

Barbara admits that she has a fear of heights and is nervous and that she is not looking forward to looking down from the top of the cliff in the morning. But she is determined to carry out the challenge to the very end to raise as much money as she can to make sure life-limited children and their families are better supported and professionals are able to provide them with the co-ordinated, family-centred care they need.

Catriona explains her reason for taking up the challenge by saying, “I genuinely believe that Together for Short Lives is a really good charity doing critical work and any time, effort or money spent trying to help them is really worthwhile.”

Watch their video to find out more. 

It's easy to donate
Barbara and Catriona would be very grateful for any support, no matter how small, to help them hit their ambitious target.  You can make a donation via their JustGiving fundraising page.  

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