Opticians to abseil for homeless charity

By Barrie Hudson - 24 August 2021

  • Fran Wattley is one of the intrepid charity abseilers

    Fran Wattley is one of the intrepid charity abseilers

Four volunteers from opticians Haine & Smith are to abseil 100m from the top of the south coast's tallest tower.

  • The Highworth branch where Fran Wattley works

    The Highworth branch where Fran Wattley works

They include a member of the firm's Highworth team and one from the Devizes branch.

The staff members from Haine & Smith practices across the county will be taking on the Alabaré's Homes for Veterans Spinnaker Tower Challenge in Portsmouth on Sunday, September 5, to help raise funds for the vital work it carries with homeless and vulnerable people.

The staff chosen to represent Haine & Smith are Fran Wattley from the Highworth practice, Emma Stiles from the Devizes practice, Hayley Cox from the Pewsey practice and Eileen Devenish from head office in Pewsey. 

Fran Wattley said: “I am absolutely buzzing that I will be abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower. When I saw this, I said that this was right up my street, and that I wouldn’t even hesitate in doing this. My friends would gladly pay to watch me jump off a building - and they have!

“My friends and work colleagues all think I’m absolutely bonkers for doing this, but know I’d happily do this to raise money for such a great and worthwhile cause. 

"I keep saying ‘what goes up must come down.'”  

Laura Knight, Community Engagement Officer at Alabaré, said: “It’s certainly not a challenge for the fainthearted but we’re so grateful to Haine & Smith’s willing volunteers for pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to take part in our Spinnaker Tower abseil and raise funds for Alabaré’s Homes for Veterans in the process.”

Family members and colleagues will be joining them on the day to cheer them on as they abseil down the side of Portsmouth’s iconic landmark while taking in the incredible views.

Sponsorship information can be obtained via www.haineandsmith.co.uk and in person at branches.

Fran Wattley's GoFundMe page is  https://www.gofundme.com/f/qruqd-spinnaker-tower-abseil-challenge?utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=email&utm_source=customer

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