83 year old abseils Custard Factory for Parkinson’s UK

Daring fundraisers in Birmingham abseiled down the city’s iconic Custard Factory on 5 June, raising an incredible £11,000 for Parkinson’s UK. 

Among the 26 people who took part was 83-year-old Richard Kendrick from Sutton Coldfield, who has been living with Parkinson’s for nearly 20 years. He was determined to take part in the event to raise money and awareness for the charity. 

He said: “My most memorable part of the day was when I was about one third of the way down, I heard a lot of people cheering and shouting. I looked down to see who they were cheering for – then I realised it was all for me! 

“My life has changed completely, as just eighteen months ago I was playing tennis and table tennis competitively, as well as golf twice a week. However, I fell down the stairs and in the process, damaged my spine. This left me with a permanent stoop, and it also sped up my Parkinson’s – my balance is very poor, so I tend to fall down quite a lot. 

“I really wanted to take part in the abseil, and afterwards I felt such excitement, elation and self-satisfaction. I had done what I wanted to do. I want to say a big thank you to all the team who helped me and made my life so much easier. They looked after me from start to finish and I could not have done it without them.” 

Gayle Kelly, Regional Fundraiser for Birmingham and the Black Country at Parkinson’s UK, organised the abseil and was there to support and cheer on the participants. 

She said:  

“We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who abseiled to support Parkinson’s UK. It was a fantastic day with a brilliant atmosphere. Our work at the charity is entirely dependent on donations. Every penny raised at events like this helps us drive forward the research, as well as fund support for people living with the condition.” 

Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. In the UK, there are around 145,000 people already living with Parkinson’s, including approximately 12,329 in the West Midlands. 

Parkinson’s UK is the largest charitable funder of Parkinson’s research in Europe, leading the way to better treatments and a cure. 

To find out how to fundraise for Parkinson’s UK visit: www.parkinsons.org.uk/get-involved/fundraising