Sold-out abseil challenge raises £9,000

Alex Andrews (second right) from event supporter Wilkins Kennedy congratulates team mates Chris Jones, Chloe Ranger and Dee Takamizawa for completing the KM Abseil Challenge.

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Ninety charity champions braved icy winds and a 100-foot drop at the KM Abseil Charity Challenge on Sunday to raise more than £9,000 for good causes across Kent and Medway.

The event was organised by the KM Group’s charity department and took place at one of the county’s tallest landmarks, Thomas Place in Maidstone. Participants championed 22 good causes including Guide Dogs Medway, Cancer Research, St Ethelbert’s PTA, Porchlight, and Demelza House Children’s Hospice.

Plucky teen Amber Patrick supported Guide Dogs Medway and was the youngest participant at just 16. Eighty-one year-old Wendy Elliott, a resident at Thomas Place,  took part in aid of Cancer Research UK and also took the title of oldest abseiler on the day – and said she enjoyed every minute of it.

The biggest individual fundraiser was Laura Wilson from Ramsgate who whipped up £527 for St Ethelbert’s PTA on the day. Sophie Pritchard from Faversham and the Kreston Reeves team were the most successful group fundraisers generating more than £1,200 in sponsorship for Porchlight.

Best fancy dress award went to Vanessa Reeve, John Bean, and Lyndsay Healy, all from Thanet, along with Jayne Cribben from Herne Bay. The group donned outfits including a Union Jack onesie and luminous wigs and tutus in their quest to raise money for the Steve Reeve Wheelchair Fund.

Rochester girls Lauren Barraclough, Kyra Chamberlain Josie Feltham, Charlotte Ford, Gemma Johnson and Chloe Tasker raised £585 for Making Miracles and Kent Association for the Blind. One of the fundraising tricks was a coin collection.

Alex Andrews from the event’s key partner Wilkins Kennedy said: “We are really excited to be supporting the KM Abseil Challenge. It’s the second one this year and it’s an absolute sell-out so we’re really pleased.”

The firm of chartered accountants which has offices in Canterbury, Ashford, Orpington, and Maidstone, also joined in the adrenaline event with members of staff taking the plunge for Demelza Hospice care for children.

Event organiser Dominic Comins of the KM Charity Team said: “We are delighted and humbled by the number of people who tackled the elements and a knee-knocking challenge to help their favourite charities. They should all be immensely proud of themselves.”

He added: “I’d like to thank Housing and Care 21, who run Thomas Place, and Wilkins Kennedy for all their support in enabling this event to take place.”

As well as abseils, the KM Charity Team stage annual events including the KM Big Bike Ride, KM Colour Run, KM Charity Walk, KM Dragon Boat Race, and the KM Assault Course Challenge. To book a place on any KM charity challenge, visit

Good causes wanting to find out about teaming up with the KM Charity Team to support their fundraising can visit the above website or contact Simon Dolby on 07989 164 752 or email

To view or download photographs of the event for free, please visit our Photo Gallery.

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