Classroom fund goes up asKirkby Stephen abseilers descend

Date: Friday 26th May 2017
Abseil organiser Claire Lumley with volunteers and helpers from Kirkby Stephen mountain rescue team and Upper Eden Rotary Club
Abseil organiser Claire Lumley with volunteers and helpers from Kirkby Stephen mountain rescue team and Upper Eden Rotary Club

A TOTAL of 79 people descended the church tower in Kirkby Stephen on Saturday in a sponsored abseil for the town primary school’s classroom appeal.

A smile from Becky Scott, of Kirkby Stephen, after her abseil.
A smile from Becky Scott, of Kirkby Stephen, after her abseil.
David Cannon, of Kirkby Stephen, lowers himself down the church tower
David Cannon, of Kirkby Stephen, lowers himself down the church tower
On the guess how many sweets in the jar stall were (left to right) Leah Walton, Joel Redmond and Paige Redmond.
On the guess how many sweets in the jar stall were (left to right) Leah Walton, Joel Redmond and Paige Redmond.

The abseilers included 88-year-old Alan Bell, of Kirkby Stephen, and Rory Stewart, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Penrith and the Border, and his wife, Shoshana.

The event was organised by Kirkby Stephen’s Claire Lumley, a member of the fund-raising committee, as part of a drive by the school to raise £50,000 towards the £100,000 needed to build a new classroom.

The extension is needed to house growing numbers of children set to join the school in September after the anticipated intake exceeded the school’s published admissions number by 14.

Rather than turn away the children, all but one being from the local catchment area, headteacher Lynne Wade pledged to make space for them and make sure they can be part of their community’s school.

The community turned out in force to cheer people on during the abseil. There was also a host of fun activities including a tombola and competitions. Home-made refreshments were on offer at a stall manned by a band of friends helping at the event.

Claire said: “There was a fantastic response from the town and the atmosphere was electric. There was so much goodwill and determination to raise the money. The generosity shown was amazing.”

The first two hours of the event were hit by torrential rain but the sun later came out to the relief of organisers. The turn in the weather also enabled a bouncy castle to be inflated, much to the delight of many of the younger supporters.

Claire thanked Lyon Equipment, Tebay, for its expertise and providing all equipment free of charge. The team set up on Friday and made sure that all the health and safety requirements were in place, ensuring that all went well on the day and making all the participants feel at ease and confident. They were closely assisted by Kirkby Stephen mountain rescue team members.

The event raised £3,570.84, excluding sponsorship funds which are yet to be collected, so the final figure is likely to be much higher. Claire extended “a huge thank you to all those involved in any way to make the day so successful”.

Forthcoming events as part of the classroom appeal include a restaurant evening at Kirkby Stephen Primary School, to be held by Justin Green, an executive chef at Kendal’s Castle Green Hotel.

A summer ball is also planned for Saturday, 17th June, at the Castle Green Hotel which will include dinner followed by music from Kendal band Nine Lives.