A TEAM of daring drinking buddies took their friendship to another level at the weekend as they dropped 100ft to raise money for charity.
The 15-strong team of regulars at the Blackbird Pub, in Blackbird Leys, Oxford, joined the abseil down the outside of the Women’s Centre at the John Radcliffe, in aid of the Oxford Children’s Hospital.
According to the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals Charitable Funds Team, it was one of the best turnouts at one of their abseils, and the event looks set to raise as much as £50,000 for equipment and facilities at the hospital.
The friends were inspired to take the plunge by Ciara Brennan, of Balfour Road, whose daughter Rhianna receives regular treatment at the hospital for a rare genetic disorder.
The three year old has been diagnosed with Williams Syndrome, which can affect the growth of a child physically and mentally, and means the little girl develops dangerously high levels of calcium in her body.
Miss Brennan, 29, said she was touched by the number of people who turned out to take part in the abseil with her.
She added: “It was a great day.
“We think we have raised around £1,600 too, although it could be more.
“Rhianna has only just started walking, which is part of the syndrome, but I’ve been getting a lot of support.
“I know people wanted to help out because they adore her and she adores them.
“She is just such a lovely child.”
After the abseil the team went back to the Blackbird, in Blackbird Leys Road, for some well earned ‘refreshments’.
Rhianna’s godmother, Toni Heath, 32, raised more than £300 in sponsorship.
The mother of three from Sandy Lane, said she was wracked with nerves before she took the drop, but knew it was all worth it.
She added: “Once you’re up there there’s no going back. All of us were so chuffed when we finished.”