On Saturday 31 July 2021, 87-year-old Stuart Morris from West Chiltington, took on a 320ft abseil down the Spinnaker Tower to raise funds for local children’s hospice, Chestnut Tree House.
Stuart is no stranger to taking on fundraising challenges, running the London Marathon in 1991, braving a skydive in 1986, the South Downs Trek in 2020, and most recently an abseil, where he’s raised over £3,900.
“The abseil was great fun,” says Stuart. “Everyone had a big smile on their face when they completed it. I enjoyed it so much, I’ve even inspired my neighbour to sign up next year!”
Speaking about why he chose to fundraise for his local children’s hospice, Stuart said: “Chestnut Tree House is such a fantastic cause. The families go through the most difficult times and the children are so brave. To me, it’s the best charity you can support.”
As well as regularly fundraising for his local children’s hospice, Stuart also volunteers at St Barnabas House, the local adults’ hospice. He became a St Barnabas House Community Companion in late 2019 – a special befriending volunteer programme where he supports some of the most isolated patients that the hospice cares for.
At the beginning of 2020, Stuart had to take a break from being a Community Companion when his wife of 59 years, Eileen, fell terminally ill. “Eileen was diagnosed with terminal cancer and received wonderful palliative care from St Barnabas House, from the nursing staff, but also the Occupational Therapy Team who were splendid in making sure that we had all the aids we needed in a very short time.”
A few months later, on Stuart’s 86th birthday, Eileen sadly passed away, “St Barnabas House did everything for us. They were fabulous.”