Challenging Disability Through Outdoor Adventure

Fundraising News

Northumbrian Water take on terrifying abseil for Calvert Trust Kielder

The Team

Daredevil water workers have taken fundraising to another level with a charity abseil.

Seven employees from Northumbrian Water scaled the dizzy heights of Kielder reservoir’s valve tower on Friday 18 November 2011, to raise money for youth charity, the Prince’s Trust and Calvert Trust Kielder.

At 230 feet (70 metres) from its base on the reservoir floor, the valve tower is taller than Nelson’s column and as high as a 23 storey building.

The event was organised by billing services team supervisor, Louise Morris.

In recent months the team have organised a variety of fundraisers, including a masquerade ball, but opted for a sky-high sponsored abseil for their latest event as team chairman, Darren Walker, has a fear of heights.

Eight members of Northumbrian Water’s senior leadership team were also “roped in” to the sponsored abseil, and took the plunge inside the tower in festive Santa costumes.

Company CEO, Heidi Mottram, was first to take on the challenge. She said:

“The valve tower’s usual purpose is to release water from Kielder reservoir, so it was a fantastic opportunity to be able to freefall more than 200 feet from the top. It was an exhilarating experience and a great team effort.”

Pete Coulson, Head of Activities at Calvert Trust Kielder helped to make the challenge possible by providing the specilist equipment and expertise to abseil the team safely down the tower.

Darren Walker, Northumbrian Water, who had to face his fear of heights for the challenge, said:

“The worst part was going over the edge to start the abseil, but I made it to the bottom thanks to the encouragement from the Calvert Trust Kielder experts.

I’ve come a long way to conquering my fear of heights but I’m not looking to repeat the abseil any time soon. I felt a great sense of relief once my feet were back on the ground.”


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The challenge raised over £1,000 for Calvert Trust Kielder which will make a huge difference to our work with disabled children and adults.  We would like to thank everyone at Northumbrian Water for their support.

If you would like to find out more about how you can support Calvert Trust Kielder please visit the 'Support Us' pages or you can contact a member of our fundraising team on 01434 250232.



Please contact
our Fundraising Team:


Jeremy Duxbury

Tel: 01598 763221


Catherine Little

Tel: 01434 250232

Lake District

Lynn Healey

Tel: 01768 772255



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