We Faced Our Pho­bias

Be in­spired by three women who are over­com­ing pho­bias that were re­strict­ing their lives…

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WHEN I saw the Spin­naker Tower in Portsmouth while on a day out last year, I an­nounced to my hus­band Tony out the blue that that I was go­ing to ab­seil down it,” says Bar­bara Young.

“I told him I’d ask our son Si­mon to join me and that I’d do it for our beau­ti­ful grand­son, Ol­lie. Ol­lie died the day be­fore his sixth birth­day in 2012 and the Ol­lie Young Foun­da­tion has been set up in his name, to raise money to sup­port pae­di­atric brain tu­mour re­search.

“I’m no good with heights, in fact I can’t even climb a lad­der, so ab­seil­ing down a 100m tower was com­pletely out of my com­fort zone.

“As Si­mon and I stood at the top of the tower in July, ready to ab­seil down, I was ab­so­lutely pet­ri­fied! The staff kindly agreed to let me go first, so I didn’t have to wait, and they also let Si­mon and I go to­gether.

“It took five min­utes for us to get from top to bot­tom and I didn’t dare look down once. It had been a beau­ti­ful day but un­for­tu­nately the heav­ens had opened by the time of the ab­seil and it was windy up there too.

“I had to han­dle the rope with both hands be­cause I have arthri­tis in them and I just flew down. The Spin­naker team gave plenty of en­cour­age­ment and I was able to talk to Si­mon be­side me, too.

“I was just buzzing when I reached the bot­tom. In fact, I still am! I was ab­so­lutely chuffed to bits that I had done it and we raised over £2,000 for Ol­lie’s char­ity. In fact, I would ac­tu­ally do it again.

“It hasn’t cured my fear of heights, though. I still can’t climb a lad­der!” WWW.OLLIEYOUNGFOUNDATION.ORG

Bar­bara pre­pares to take the plunge

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