Raising money for charity is something that a lot of people can relate to. Fundraising in any way they can, whether it be a bake sale, a raffle, a sponsored run, walk or even a bag pack at your local supermarket... but that's not quite what Amanda Harvey-Smalley had in mind when she decided to support the Mayor's charities of the year in Stockport at the end of last year.
Amanda, 58, an Interim Recruitment Business Partner for System Group from Astley, Manchester, swapped her office chair for a harness as she prepared to abseil down the side of Stopford House in Stockport. For some, leaning back over the edge of a building with the prospect of climbing down the side would be too much, but not for Amanda, "I'm not scared of heights, I loved it," she said.
So that was it for Amanda, from top to bottom in less than a few minutes whilst onlookers supported. No fear in sight, adrenalin taking over. One of the reasons Amanda put herself forward for the abseil was to help support her friend, Councillor Linda Holt, Mayor of Stockport to raise money for her chosen charities of the year.
Amanda raised £832.50 for her abseil and if that wasn't enough, as a previous employer of Barclays bank and as a Barclays Pensioner they matched her fundraising up to £750, taking her grand total to a huge sum of £1582.50, through their £4£ funding scheme, Barclays are helping communities raise money for chosen charities across the country.
Amanda's fundraising efforts will be collected together with other fundraiser's money and split between the Mayor's chosen charities which are The Plaza in Stockport, the RSPCA and ARC (Agricultural and Rural Centre for Adults and Children with disabilities).
So, what will the money raised by Amanda help to do? Well, for The Plaza theatre in Stockport any funds raised will help to protect, preserve and promote the last remaining Super Cinema in the UK as an example of 1930's architecture, the theatre is currently in stage 1 of it's restoration project. The RSPCA will be able to continue to care for animals and help provide them with new homes and the ARC is doing something very special, they are based on a farm and with the money donated to them their aim is to help anyone with a disability, mental health issue or socially disadvantaged the opportunity to work with animals giving them the experience of enjoying a 'hands on' approach to a range of farm-based activities.
Having asked Amanda if the abseil for charity was something she would consider doing again, "I would have done it again straight after finishing the first one," she replied.