Couple mark 40-year anniversary with charity abseil

A weekend away, dinner for two or a day out in the countryside are traditional ways to celebrate a Ruby wedding anniversary. However, something a little different was on the cards for Mark Jeffries and wife Catherine who decided 40 years of marriage was best celebrated by taking the plunge off the side of The Forum in Norwich in support of the N&N Hospitals Charity.

Mark and Catherine were among 35 people who took part in the charity’s third abseil on Sunday, raising thousands of pounds to support projects to benefit patients and staff across the hospital.

Mark, who was a non-executive directive at NNUH for eight years and Chair of the N&N Hospitals Charity Committee, said: “Having seen first-hand what a difference the N&N Hospital Charity makes, this was a great opportunity to raise funds and support its work. Catherine has been wanting to do an abseil for a long time so what better time than our 40th anniversary?”

Catherine said: “It was lovely to abseil to the accompaniment of the wonderful bells of St Peter Mancroft church. The equipment was first rate. A big thank you to Dave Talbot and his team for preparing us so well.”

Both were abseiling for the first time although they have previously undertaken parachute jumps.

The team from Dave Talbot, Adventure Events provided full training and calmed the nerves before the abseilers made their descent.

Among those taking part were staff supporting NICU, the Boudicca Breast Cancer Appeal and a team from the hospital’s phlebotomy department, while we also welcomed a young French exchange student in Norwich for the weekend and a 76-year-old daredevil, who made a last-minute decision to sign-up on the day.

Lynn Crombie, from the Hospital Charity said: “With donations and sponsorship still coming in, a final figure has yet to be confirmed but we expect that the event will have raised several thousand pounds which will benefit staff and patients at the N&N. We’d like to thank everyone who took part, came along and supported their friends and colleagues and donated to our charity.

“If you couldn’t make this event, we have another abseil taking place at the hospital in December, fancy dress optional, and places will open up this week so please do get in touch to sign up at”