A TV star joked of taking on the North Face of Great Western Hospital as he abseiled down its sheer wall – raising hundreds of pounds for music therapy for young patients.
Former Heartbeat heart throb Jason Durr, who now plays nurse David Hide on BBC’s Casualty, took just 80 seconds to make the 90ft descent.
The 52-year-old, who lives in Malmesbury, said his “Durr Dangle” had been exhilarating: “The weather has been on our side and it’s just great to be of some help.
“GWH is my local hospital and it’s supported my family and my wife’s family.
“It’s just a joy to be here.”
Jason Durr on the wall Picture: DAVE COX
Wife Kate, 52, joked Jason was sporting a lucky pair of orange pants. “It’s quite high,” she said, nervously looking up at the six-storey building. “When you come and see the Wall of Death, as we’ve been calling it this week, it’s very high. He’s quite good with heights. He’s done lots of stunts in the past.”
By the time he took to the wall on Saturday afternoon, Jason had hit his £1,000 target – with more money coming in.
Don’t look down! Picture: DAVE COX
The actor was one of 65 people to take on the charity abseil. Cat Newman of GWH charity Brighter Futures said the event had raised more than £6,000.
The cash will help fund a music therapist, part funded by Swindon children’s cancer charity CALM, for the children’s ward.
“It brings them a little bit of enjoyment at a challenging time in hospital. You can see how much the kids enjoy it,” said Cat Newman.
Gillian Farkas-Blake, a music therapist with Nordoff-Robbins, said of the therapy: “It helps in so many ways. Some of the people I work with are newborn babies who don’t have language and who find having some sort of loud activity can take their mind off it.” Playing with her box of musical instruments helped some children manage their pain or even communicate, Gillian said.
She added it was incredible to see so many people take part in the abseil: “It just shows so much commitment and belief in the work that we’re doing, which is just amazing.”
The youngest to take to the wall was 10 and the eldest was in their mid-70s. Among their number were hospital staff and parents of patients on the children’s unit.
Brighter Futures hopes to run a similar event in September. For more details, visit: www.brighterfuturesgwh.nhs.uk.
All pictures: DAVE COX