John’s story: Abseiling with the Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Chipping Sodbury began its support of our hospitals with the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal.

I first heard of Southmead Hospital Charity when my wife and I saw the Bristol Male Voice Choir performing in John Lewis. It turned out that the choir was raising money for the Charity’s latest Prostate Cancer Care Appeal. It piqued my interest so I looked on the Charity’s website and found out about the Amazing Abseil Adventure due to take place later that year. 

Many of us at the Rotary Club have had personal and family experiences of the NHS and the Prostate Cancer Care Appeal struck a chord with the members due to its relevance to older males. We chose to support the Appeal during my year as Club President and I set about putting together a team of – mostly – willing volunteers to take on the abseil! 

Our abseil success encouraged us to raise more

The abseil raised an incredible £3,500. It was a fantastic experience and raising so much money generated lots of enthusiasm for a charity auction the following year. Thanks to the hard work of our group members, we were able to source brilliant prizes from very generous donors. 

After some inspired auctioneering, we raised more than £8,150 which the club subsequently agreed to round up to a superb £10,000!

The NHS is a cause everyone can get behind

An important part of the whole fundraising experience was a visit from consultant urological surgeon Mr Anthony Koupparis. He gave a very motivating presentation about the difference that the new robotic surgical equipment would make to men being treated for prostate cancer at Southmead Hospital.  

It was fascinating. We had a clear idea of exactly what we were trying to achieve and that really boosted our team spirit. 

Our contact at the Charity, Adrian, has always been supportive and positive throughout all of our activities. He made it clear that our contribution to the £2 million appeal had real benefits. Beyond the fundraising itself, we were raising awareness of the hospital and the difference that Charity support makes there. Most importantly, we were highlighting the prevalence of prostate cancer to men in our local community. 

We continue to support our local NHS in Bristol

In 2020, we donated a further £4,500 to the Coronavirus Appeal to help staff through the pressures of the pandemic. I’d certainly encourage other clubs and community groups to support our local NHS in Bristol. Get a committed team together, be clear about what you want to achieve and enjoy the journey!


If you’re part of a community group, please contact Ian to find out how you can support your local NHS in Bristol.

Southmead Hospital Charity Community Support Officer Ian

Contact Ian

Community Support Officer


Ian.Riddell@nbt.nhs.uk

07514 941364

Thank you for your support – it makes a huge difference to our patients, their families and our staff.

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