Last weekend Natasha Dochniak, Business Development Manager based in the Southampton office, decided to take a leap of faith and abseil down Spinnaker Tower – she tells us a bit more about her experience:

I would say that I am always someone who is up for a challenge, wanting to try something different and happy to push myself but what was I thinking when I volunteered to abseil down the Spinnaker Tower….. all I can say is that I kept thinking it was all for a good cause – Hampshire & IOW Air Ambulance – a not for profit charity providing invaluable rescue. I made an ad-hoc request to the Leonard Curtis Foundation and they were happy to support me and provided my sponsorship for the challenge – thank you!

This was definitely something that tested my nerves and courage, and I would describe it as exhilarating and scary at the same time. The Spinnaker Tower is a 170 metre landmark observation tower in Portsmouth and instead of taking in the views from the deck I took on a 100 metre descent down the side! Some would say that there were unmissable views across Portsmouth harbour, the Solent and the Isle of Wight and whilst I did try and have a good look around on the way down I must admit I was all too focused on getting back to solid ground as quickly as possible…..!! Half way down I couldn’t quite believe how far I still had to go. I thought it took me ages to get down but you lose all sense of time.

The most scary moment was of course stepping out on to the platform and letting the harness take my weight. I quickly discovered it was best to concentrate on feeding the rope steadily through my hands and walking my feet down the tower.

Did I enjoy it? At the time, I’m not sure but in retrospect, yes. Did I feel a sense of achievement? Definitely. It’s good to be scared now and again! Would I do it again? I’m not sure I would. It was a once in a lifetime challenge which I don’t feel the need to repeat!

The Hampshire & IOW Air Ambulance service are called out to an average of four incidents every day, including cardiac arrests, road traffic collisions, falls and assaults. It currently costs £15,000 a day to maintain its life saving service and I feel that both myself and Leonard Curtis have done their bit to keep the Air Ambulance flying and saving lives.

If you have an ad hoc request for the Leonard Curtis Foundation which takes place outside of the usual funding application windows, get in touch with

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