If you are looking for a memorable experience and are not afraid of heights, then we have exactly the event for you – as well as the opportunity to raise funds for our two amazing hospitals. The Charity has around 15 places left for a special day (on Sunday 6 May) when brave supporters can abseil down the UK’s tallest sculpture – the ArcelorMittal Orbit (pictured left). Some hardy souls did it last year and I have heard words like ‘thrilling’, ‘amazing’, ‘wonderful’, and yes, also ‘terrifying’. No-one could doubt that it was a challenge. This is not available to do without an organising charity – so grab the chance! Come and beat your vertigo with fellow bravehearts and know that your hard won sponsorship will go to make life better for patients at Royal Brompton and Harefield. 

Putting the unseasonable Easter weather behind us, we are planning a host of spring and summer events from Champagne Picnics to Golf Days with rock star Shakin’ Stevens. There’s also our Grand Canal Challenge, offering the chance to walk, cycle or run along the majestic Grand Union Canal, which connects our two hospitals. Or, you could support us by doing your own thing to raise funds for the Charity, just like the duo behind #WalktheBrysonLine.

This last project is the brainchild of Kate Hedges (pictured here with husband Jeff) who was treated at Royal Brompton for lung cancer, and wants to give something back to the hospital that saved her life. Kate, Jeff and a team of supporters (including the brilliant writer Bill Bryson who will join them for part of the way) will be walking the epic distance from Cape Wrath to Bognor Regis that Bryson wrote about in his best-selling ‘Road to Little Dribbling’. And they are inviting you to join them for a part of the route convenient to you! I will going to join them for part of the Lancashire stretch and you can too – or do it in your own time by walking your own epic trail, and so taking part in spirit and in energy… Find out more here

Why do people do these things?

Well, some are looking for a challenge like the abseil, some are looking for an even more enduring feat, like the Bryson line, some are just simply looking to have good fun, like at the Champagne Picnic. But for all of our fundraisers, whatever they’re up to, there is one over-arching theme – the desire to support Royal Brompton and Harefield. They are passionate about helping to buy equipment simply not affordable on an NHS budget but vital for giving our patients the very best chance of successful treatment and recovery. 

So, thank you to all of you who will come and join us over the next few months and make such a difference to our patients’ and our staff’s lives. 

And a final note – there are still some tickets left for our fantastic event: An Audience with Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub on Thursday 12 April at The Royal College of Physicians. World-renowned surgeon Sir Magdi will be interviewed by BBC Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis and there will be music from the amazing Ayoub Sisters (check them out below!). Wine and nibbles will follow a Q&A session and there are truly fabulous raffle prizes to be won! Our wonderful programme has a truly unique front cover design by the amazing satirical cartoonist and illustrator, Gerald Scarfe, donated especially for the event – we are so grateful to Gerald for lending his time and talent in this brilliant way to support the Charity, and to all the other supporters who help make these events so special.

Tickets are selling fast in this last week, so don’t delay, book today. I hope to see you there.