A few months ago, i explained that i wanted to do something different and was going to be abseiling down the Europa hotel in Belfast. I signed up and promptly forgot about it. That was until Today.
I arrived nice and early to the hotel because we needed to be there for 12.40 so getting the next train would have been too late. When i got to the hotel, i was immiediatly met by one of the door men, who i never knew existed and taken up to the second floor where the regestration desk for the abseil was located. As soon as we left the lift, we were surrounded by the buzz of people abseiling or who had just abseiled for other charities. I got in and got registered pretty quickly and was able to chat to some of the other people doing it. There were something like 100 people who had been doing it for The Cancer Fund for Children with a further 90 apparently going throughout the day. The hotel does the abseil once a month it seems with the
Belfast Activity centre
Organising the abseils. It was fascinating listening to everything going on and it passed the time nicely until our group arrived. There were 12 of us altogether who were doing it for
Angel Eyes NI
So we were well represented.
First of all, we were given numbers in order of who was going when. We then watched a dvd about the abseil, before eventually getting our harnesses and helmits on. We also had to wear gloves to stop the rope from burning our hands if we held it too tight. The gloves were rather large for my tiny hands lol. All the preparation took about an hour roughly by the time we got everything done that needed to be done.
Eventually, after a bit more waiting, we were taken up to the 12th floor. We then had to clamber up a huge spiral staircase as they are doing quite a lot of work on the roof itself. There were quite a lot of potential trip hazzards, but thankfully i had a fantastic guide to help me. At one point, there was a very very deep step down with nothing to hold on To. I had to be half lifted down because it was so deep, or it felt so deep. to me anyway.
After all that clambering, we were hooked up to the rope which was attached to a ladder. We then had to walk backwards to get the feeling of the rope and see how the rope could support your weight. I thought it was off for more practice work after that, but no, it was the real thing. The nerves were starting to kick in now alright. I kept telling myself that as long as i trusted the instructors and the ropes, i’d be fine. We were once again hooked up to the ropes, and i was told to sit down on the edge of the roof. I then had to hold on to a beam above me, duck down and face backwards with my feet on the wall of the hotel. The instructors were great and told me to take it slowly as i started to descend. It was then time for a photo before I whizzed down. I accidentally pushed away from the wall which made me eventually turn round to face the crowd which you aren’t rally meant to do lol. At least it was near the bottom though. Once i stood up, my legs were likejelly. We then headed back inside to take off our equipment.
There was another guide dog owner who did the abseil as well as me, so our dogs were brought back up to meet us. Ushi did her famous stop when she was taken down to the ground earlier as we thought it would be safer for them to be at street level rather than on the roof. Ushi apparently didn’t make eye contact with anyone the whole time she was away from me and looked as sad as she could until she was reunited with me bless her. We got a printed photo to keep which each of us could buy if we wanted.
We finished up in Robbinsons across the road afterwards for a well earned drink and to compare everyones experiences. It was a brilliant day and i found it easier abseiling down the hotel, than i did when i did it as part of the Grit plus residential i attended a few years ago. I would like to thank everyone for sponsoring me and for the Belfast activity centre for having us. I have attached a photo of me waiting to descend for anyone who is interested.
If you would like to donate to my page, you can still visit
My just giving page
Which stays open for another 3 months. You can also text the code “EUAB69” (all caps no spaces), plus your amount to 70070. Thank you again for the donations.
The Angel eyes
Meeting i attended at the end of March? Well they are holding an event this Friday. I am not able to go and to be honest, it’s not really my thing, but i’ll post anyway. This is from their website and facebook:
Night at the Races, Friday 27th April 2012
Friday 27th April 12
From 7:30 until 10:30
Venue: The Hilton Hotel, Templepatrick, Co Antrim
Organisers:Angel Eyes NI
The evening will also include a two course hot buffet, a raffle with great prizes followed by a disco!!!
Cost of tickets is £15 each – contact Paula on 074 1143 2011 or Sara 074 1148 8897 or Joanne 074 1145 6215 for more details!
We appreciate your support to make this event a success!!
So hopefully this event will raise alot of money and help the charity. I hope it is a success!
I’ll post how much is raised as soon as i find out.
I got an email the other day asking me if i would like to be an associate member of the
Angel eyes Northern Ireland
Committee. I did a
For them back in August, and it was great fun. I didn’t think i’d hear anything more as everything was in Belfast that they were organising.
The chair person emailed me the other day asking if i would like to sit on the committee. It is made up of parents of visually impaired children. They decide on policies, fundraise and organise events. She said that she basically wants me on the committee to share my oppion as a young person and that it might help parents to know that i am a young independent blind person. She said that it would be until next January when people are re elected. There are three committees, a fundraising committee, an education committee and the main committee i think. They only meet three or four times a year.
I’m still on the fence really. On the one hand it would be good experience but on the other would i be in over my head? Would i get something out of it? I have said to the woman that i will give it a go and if i don’t like it then there is nothing lost. She hasn’t replied to this yet so i’m hoping it will be okay.
What do you all think? Would it be a good idea?
I just thought that i should put this up there. I really do hope that it is okay if i decide i don’t like it, but i guess i’m only going to know if i like it if i go to a meeting.
Thanks for your thoughts!
I got an email the other day from my rehab worker asking if I would like to go to a sponsored walk and picnic today. (The woman who asked my rehab worker if i would like to go didn’t have my email so asked him to ask me). We met her before at the
Clown Doctors thing
Back in February. I said I would go but after replying to the email I remembered something I needed to check on.
Whenever we qualify with our dogs, we sign a document called the “Guide dog owner agreement”, and pay 50 pence to the association. This 50 pence is all we are required to pay, but we can pay for vet and feeding costs if we want. It means the dog is now ours. The agreement basically is a legal document that says that we mustn’t use our dogs in dog shows, and that we will be responsible for the dog and such. There is one part that says that if we are fundraising for another charity we must have the dogs behind us or something. I emailed my instructor to see if i could still do the walk, and she said that if we were collecting for another charity we would have to have the dogs harness off, but if we are just going to support another charity then there is no problem and we can go on ahead. So that was great news.
So this morning i decided to work Ushi before we went on the walk. I usually find that if i don’t work her at all, she is usually much more hyper. Plus I find that working her after a fundraiser is just not going to happen as she usually sleeps for most of the day afterwords. I’ve noticed that recently though she has become much more sniffy over the past couple of days. It’s usually things she wouldn’t normally sniff like cars and that. Maybe it’s because it’s coming into Autumn or maybe it’s just Ushi.
So my rehab worker came to collect me at about a quarter to 11. The place where we were doing the walk was only about 5 minutes away. The walk was organised by the charity
Angel eyes northern ireland
Who are a charity that support parents of blind and partially sighted children in northern ireland. It is made up by parents. They organise away days as well as education days and such for parent and kids.
When we got to the place where we were meeting, we first let Ushi spend, then sat chatting for a while before we got started. There was a crossword and a map for the kids, but you could just do the walk on its own.
Ushi was a little excited because it was a new place, so she pulled a bit on the lead, but it was manageable. When we got a little around the walk, my rehab worker asked if i would like to work her with him directing me where to go. I said yes and explained that she wouldn’t walk at her normal speed because it was a new place. He asked me if I felt working her would be a good idea, but I said that I may as well use her since i had her. Ushi worked wonderfully. Her tail was wagging the whole time, and she seemed to be having a great time. We even went over a bridge over a river and we had no spends, and she didn’t even give the water a second glance. She did however sniff a spending bin just off that bridge though. Her confidence did start to become a bit shakey at some points though, mostly when there was no one she could follow. So my rehab worker went in front and she soon started to step out again. She did keep insisting that she needed to go on the grass at one point, so I took her harness off and she promptly flooded the grass. She was grand after that, and we headed back for the picnic.
Ushi was a star then too. She did find a stick at one point and did have a a bit of a sniff, but apart from that she just chilled. None of the kids wanted to feed her either which was great.
There were about 12 of us all together including the kids. It was a great day.
I was expecting Ushi to be a complete nightmare as she loves kids, but she was grand.
I will probably get involved with any more events that are being organised.
It was a great day and the weather was gorgious!.
Oh before I go, I would like to wish
Good luck with training for her second guide dog on Monday. She doesn’t update her blog any more I don’t think, but she will be posting alot on a website called
Over the next couple of weeks. I really hope it goes well for her and that it works out this time. I remember how much it helped getting support last year. So do give a listen to her recordings when she posts them. I’m sure she’d appreciate it!