Abseiling Gran from Shipbourne takes on UK’s tallest freefall abseil


A Kent gran leapt from the sky to help change a life
WHEN Tita Lady Kindersley stood at the top of Britain’s tallest sculpture, she knew she was about to change a life forever.
The gran-of-16 from Shipbourne, Kent, was one of more than 50 people that had signed up to take on the UK’s highest freefall abseil, raising tens of thousands of pounds for assistance dog charity Canine Partners.
Tita and her cousin Christina Wellesley-Smith, a grandmother of seven, bravely descended from the top of the 114.5-metre ArcelorMittal Orbit which towers above Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park – home of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The abseil has already raised a total of more than £40,000 – enough to fund two assistance dogs which will transform the lives of physically disabled people.
More than 40 per cent of the total was donated by Tita and Christina’s supporters who raised more than £16,000 for the charity.
The cash will go towards the purchase and training of two puppies and pay for them to be matched to someone on the charity’s waiting list and supported throughout their working lives.
The dogs learn how to help with a range of everyday tasks including fetching items, opening doors, loading a washing machine and they can even fetch help in an emergency, boosting someone’s independence, confidence and sense of security.
Tita has been supporting Canine Partners since it was founded in 1990 and is now a vice patron.
She said: “My friends thought I was mad for signing up but because I think Canine Partners is such an amazing charity and it’s a new way of raising money for them so I wanted to have a go.
“I was very nervous when I got onto the platform. I was shaking like a leaf.
“Lowering myself into the open air was frightening but once I was clear of the lip at the top I was fine.
“To raise so much money with support of all of those people is incredible.
“I kept saying to myself ‘I have to do this because of the amount of people who have supported me.
“It was well worthwhile and good fun.”
To support with her fundraising, visit justgiving.com/TitaKindersley.
For more information about Canine Partners including opportunities to become a volunteer puppy parent, call 08456 580 480 or visit caninepartners.org.uk.