Retired care worker Zena Whiteside has abseiled down one of the tallest buildings in the UK to raise money for Cowes Sailability Club.


A 62-year-old grandmother from the Isle of Wight has abseiled 94 metres down the Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth, raising £580 for Cowes Sailability Club.  Zena Whiteside’s brave descent gave her incredible views of the Solent, where Cowes Sailability Club organises regular sailing and boating trips for people with disabilities.

Admitting to feeling somewhat nervous at the start, Zena is delighted to have accomplished the challenge that she set for herself last year, soon after joining Cowes Sailability Club as a volunteer.  “The instructor said, ‘put your legs over the railing,’ and to my amazement, my legs did as they were told!” she says.  “The first ten metres was hard going, but after that, I was off.  ‘Stop to admire the view,’ the instructor shouted, and when I did, I was amazed at the view across the water towards the Isle of Wight.”

Looking back at her achievement, Zena adds, “Cowes Sailability Club’s goal is to put smiles on faces and I certainly had a smile on my face when I got to the bottom of the tower.  Hopefully, the funds that I have raised will help to give people with disabilities lots of pleasure on the water this summer – and put many more smiles on faces.”

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