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100 people to abseil down Merseyside Police HQ – and our Janet is embracing her inner Bridget Jones to be one of them

2 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

100 people to abseil down Merseyside Police HQ  – and our Janet is embracing her inner Bridget Jones to be one of them

By Janet Tansley

It’ll take the inner steel of Bear Grylls, or the courage and enthusiasm of a perky Blue Peter presenter…

But I’ve no doubt when I abseil down the old Merseyside Police HQ in Canning place on December 5, it’ll be less action and adventure girl – and more like Bridget Jones when she’s sliding down the fireman’s pole with her backside bared and any shred of dignity in a heap like the one she landed in.

So, my first memo to self has got to be ‘wear trousers’!

But the second of course is – remember why you’re doing it!

Picture – Philip Brookes

It’s hard for your bravery not to buckle when you learn the building you’ll be stepping off is 118ft tall. (For someone who’s only 5ft 1in on tiptoes that’s a giant).

But the reassurance and good news is I’ll be one of 100 people scaling the iconic landmark that’s being replaced by a new building off Scotland Road (having been headquarters for the Force in Liverpool since 1977).

And it’s to raise money for a fantastic cause – one which had moved me when I’d first written about it; not least because of the tragic waste of two young men’s lives, but also because of the friendship and determination of their wives to overcome their grief to help others in the future.

The Doyle Phillips Foundation was created by the widows of two Merseyside officers, PC Neil Doyle and PC Dave Phillips, who were killed within 10 months of each other.

PC Doyle, 36, died after he was punched on a night out in Liverpool city centre in December, 2014, and PC Phillips, 34, after being run over by a stolen pick-up truck during a police chase in October 2015.

Although there is already a charity which supports families of officers killed on duty, widows Sarah Doyle and Jen Phillips wanted to help families of officers killed in tragic circumstances regardless of whether they were on duty or not.

The abseil is its latest fundraiser.

Event organiser for the foundation, PC Mark Hobin, revealed the event – also being completed by the same number of supporters of The Prince’s Trust for their charity – will be one of the last ever activities to take place at the prestigious building.

And he says: “It will take place from the rooftop of Merseyside Police Headquarters throughout Sunday, December 5.

“Merseyside Police will shortly be locating to a brand-new Headquarters, so the 50 members of The Doyle Phillips Foundation who have volunteered to scale down the building near to the famous waterfront will, while raising much-needed funds for us, have the opportunity to write themselves into the history books.”

Mark, who’s also vice-chair of the foundation, adds: “The response has been magnificent from our supporters, who have literally jumped at the chance to get involved. It promises to be a fantastic event and I’m thankful to all of those taking part, the support team and the logistics team, in bringing this memorable fundraiser to life.”

Chairwoman of The Doyle Phillips Foundation, Sarah Doyle, admits she will be staying firmly on the ground, adding: “I’ll be taking the photographs for the team!!

“But seriously, what a brilliant event this will be.  Participants from far and wide will be taking on their fears and doing extraordinary things in the name of our foundation.”

“I’m extremely confident that this event will raise enough money for us to be in a position to apply for charitable status. This was our short- term goal so I really can’t thank the organisers, participants and sponsors enough, and I wish them good luck.”

Of course I’m thrilled to be able to do my bit for such a wonderful organisation, and delighted to get the chance to test my nerve and raise as much money as I can.

My ‘Bridget’ diary entry might read: Janet Tansley, weight 103lb, Police HQ abseil – definitely not an occasion for tiny knickers but for great big pants …  and who, while perhaps nervous and emotional, will be brave enough to complete the event ‘just as she is’.

The key will be remembering why.

You can support Jan in her fundraising effort and support the Doyle Phillips Foundation HERE.


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