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Express reporter's terrifying cliff challenge

Sussex Express digital journalist and Newhaven reporter Hannah Russell has completed a charity abseil, raising funds for the Anthony Nolan Trust. Here she reveals how she overcame her nerves…

When you are tied to railings leaning back over a sheer drop there are a few things that go through your mind.

One is ‘how strong is this puny looking rope I’m holding?’ another, ‘why, and how exactly, did I get myself into this?’

But the overriding emotion is ‘how on earth am I going to get myself out of here?’

I am not proud to admit that the one and only thing that stopped me fleeing the Peacehaven abseil site was not the money I have raised for charity, it was not thinking of the good cause I was doing it for, it was, in fact, that I was literally tied, with ropes and harnesses to a very secure looking post.

And that is how I found myself trusting a man called Bob as he encouraged me to walk back into what could have been a certain death.

OK, it is virtually unheard of to hear of a person dying during an abseil but quite frankly, when you step off a cliff, that is not that much of a reassurance.

However, I did complete the 80ft abseil in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust and for this I am entirely indebted to Bob and the rest of his team.

Their calm encouragement was the only reason I managed to go through with it.

Bob held the harness as I inched myself back down the cliff face and patiently waved away any fears I had.

Despite these guys carrying out abseils of much higher heights than this on a regular basis, they did not make me feel embarrassed for being scared and took nothing away from the sense of accomplishment when I reached the bottom.

The abseil I took part in was organised by the Anthony Nolan Trust, a charity which maintains a record of bone marrow donors and works to encourage people to donate.