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BT staff and TV stars to abseil down the BT Tower

BT staff and TV stars to abseil down the BT Tower

British Telecom’s chairman Sir Mike Rake has devised a fundraising event that involves his chief executive walking backwards off the 138m high BT Tower in Central London.

BT boss Gavin Patterson will lead a 30-strong team of BT colleagues and celebrities in a sponsored abseil from the London landmark in a joint fundraising venture for Sport Relief and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust.

Sir Mike is described as a keen supporter of the Royal Marines and the fundraising event – on 10 March – will kick off a year of commemorations marking the marines’ 350th anniversary, during which the service’s charitable  trust aims to reach its four-year fundraising target of £6 million.

Gavin Patterson says he is “delighted” that BT is hosting the event, even though he also says he is “not the greatest fan of heights”.

The six BT employees taking part in the abseil are all former members of the armed services, while the component comprises people used to an adrenaline rush, including adventurer Bear Grylls, former Blue Peter presenter Helen Skelton and swimmer Mark Foster. All the team will receive training from the Royal Marines.

Sport Relief runs this year from 21 to 23 March 2014. Fundraising for the event is through BT mydonate.


Sue Robinson /

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Ian MacQuillin is the founder and director of Rogare, the fundraising think tank at Plymouth University's Centre for Sustainable Philanthropy. He has worked in fundraising since 2001 as editor of Professional Fundraising (2001-2006), account director at TurnerPR (2006-2009) and head of communications at the Public Fundraising Regulatory Association (2009-2013).

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  • Ian Purser

    Support Ian on his abseil down the BT Tower
    Hi, my name is Ian Purser, I work in BT’s Redcare Network Monitoring Centre in Northampton and I am one of 30 people that BT has given the exclusive opportunity to abseil 31 storeys (143.9m) down the BT Tower on 10 March 2014 to raise important funds for the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund and Sport Relief

    Royal Marines Charities help and support the Royal Marines and their dependants in any way possible; particularly the bereaved, the wounded and the severely injured who are beginning their transition into civilian life. Quite simply, they help when others cannot.
    Sport Relief spends the money raised by the public to give extremely vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the UK and Africa a helping hand to turn their lives around. It supports projects like the Premiership Rugby HITZ Programme which uses rugby sessions in the heart of the toughest inner city areas to initiate behaviour change and foster confidence in disenfranchised young people aged 11 to 19 from challenging backgrounds

    Please support Ian and give anything you can to help these great causes;

  • I got to report on this event from the top of BT Tower yesterday. Here are my videos from the event.

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