STAFF of Portadown’s High Street Mall plan to abseil down the north face of a ‘cliff’ tomorrow - when they tackle Belfast’s Europa Hotel.
They will be hanging over the precipitous route onto Great Victoria Street, all to raise funds for a Romania charity they support.
The 30-strong group are raising funds for ‘shoe boxes’ filled with goodies for children in the city of Sighisoara, Romania which they will send to the Eastern European country in October inside a loaded container.
They are ‘luxuries’ that children here take for granted - toothpaste and toothbrushes, face cloths, woolly hats and scarfs, gloves, sock and pants, pencils and rubbers and cuddly toys.
Said customers services officer Walter Thompson who heads the charity effort, “The children especially love the toothpaste and brushes, and they carefully squeeze a small spot of paste onto the brushes to preserve their supplies.
“We’re having a great response from staff in the mall. I am overwhelmed by the number of stores who have nominated a member of their staff to take part. It should be a great day and we hope to raise over £3,000 toward our charity”.
Centre manager Tracey Jackson is making sure everyone is entering into the spirit of the events, with the help of a 20-foot rope on which she enjoys being suspended. “It’s a very worthy effort,” she said.
That rope, though, is about one-fifth of the length of rope that the staff will use on the Europa descent, with the Belfast Activity Centre - real experts on abseiling - providing the equipment and the training for success. They haven’t lost anyone yet in hundreds of climb-down at the Europa.
For further information go to www.highstreetmall.co.uk, or log onto their facebook page.