Alison completes abseil for good cause

Coun Alison Byard, left, is pictured with Jim Dunn and Morpeth Rotary Club President Rhona Dunn.
Coun Alison Byard, left, is pictured with Jim Dunn and Morpeth Rotary Club President Rhona Dunn.

Morpeth’s Mayor put her nerves to the test for the first fund-raising activity in her year of office.

Coun Alison Byard completed a sponsored abseil in Cumbria with a group of people from Morpeth earlier this month in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

She has raised £570 online so far, which rises to £690 including Gift Aid, plus £255 in cash donations.

The Mayor’s friend Rhona Dunn (President of Morpeth Rotary Club) and Rhona’s husband Jim had already signed up for the abseil at Cathedral Gorge in Langdale in the Lake District to raise money for GNASS, so she decided to do it as well.

Coun Byard said: “We had a brilliant day, good weather and a friendly group who had fun and supported each other throughout.

“It was only when I was standing on the edge looking down at the sheer rock face and deep gorge below that it became scary.

“I was absolutely terrified as it goes against all your instincts to step over a cliff edge, but I couldn’t let everybody down so I had to screw up my courage, trust my instructor and step backwards over the edge.

“It only took two-and-a-half minutes to get to the bottom, but it seemed like a long time and I didn’t look down.

“I was so relieved when my feet touched the ground again. Now I know why they call it an ‘adrenaline challenge’.

“We did the abseil through Endless Adventure North East – as it allows groups to do this activity in aid of good causes on occasions – and its leaders on the day took good care of us.

“I would like to thank all those who have supported me with their generous donations.”

Another two of her friends, Joanne Brown and Sarah Farooqi, also did the abseil. They have collected £355 and £320 so far respectively.

Two of the group were raising funds for a dyslexia charity.

Other fund-raising activities for GNASS will take place at various points over the next nine months.

To make a donation, visit Coun Byard’s fund-raising page –