Stepping up to Step down:
FinTrU Abseil Success
18th May, 2016
On Sunday 15th May 2016, a group of daring FinTrU employees completed an abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast raising an impressive £2,740.98 in aid of our chosen charity, Hope For Youth NI.
Mark McKeown writes about his experience organising the abseil and Aisling McGreevy about braving it.
As a growing company FinTrU understand the importance of being in touch with their Corporate Social Responsibility and are open and receptive to any new concepts. So due to my own fear of heights, I tentatively put forward the idea of abseiling down one of Belfast’s most iconic buildings, the Europa Hotel, standing 167ft and 13 unnerving stories, on the 15th May 2016. They say ‘Overcoming a fear can be a challenge but when we do it’s exhilarating’. Interest began to generate, therefore establishing the ‘Tenacious Twenty’. This group comprised of 11 girls and 9 boys, ranging from all our academies and management. They had a common cause; to step up to step down, to raise as much for our chosen charity Hope for Youth NI as possible.
Our people embodied the spirit of FinTrU and passionately supported fundraising attempts on our donation page and through offline sponsorship. FinTrU employees raised an impressive collective amount of £2,740.98, exceeding our initial target of £400 by six fold. We worked together by sharing online through our various social media platforms in order to promote the event and received donations from family and friends.
We partnered with the Belfast Activity Centre (BAC) to assist with the abseil. BAC are a local activities-based, personal and social development provider who have helped charities to raise £3 million since 1989 through their abseils and numerous other events. Their professional approach is much in the same vein as FinTrU. They value the development of young people from a broad range of backgrounds and inspire them to identify and realise their full potential, which is why I felt they would be the best fit for FinTrU to work with.
It was an enriching experience for me personally, liaising with the BAC staff beforehand, ensuring my colleagues were well-informed on the latest developments in preparation for the event and driving fundraising efforts. In saying this, those involved did not need any inspiration as they devoted themselves to the idea and were already assertive and motivated. As a team, we felt that the abseil, much like scaling new heights in our professional lives within FinTrU, gave us a gratifying sense of personal fulfilment and joy that comes with an accomplishment recognised by colleagues or a quiet realisation of a personal goal…
Mark Mc Keown
Hope for Youth NI, believe the best opportunity for social cohesion and reconciliation is to support cross-community projects in Northern Ireland where young people can learn to work together to learn new skills, build friendships and develop confidence through the fields of music, art, drama and the great outdoors, helping to enhance the lives of a future generation.
On Sunday, FinTrU went to new heights by doing an abseil for Hope for Youth. The ‘Tenacious Twenty’ turned into the ‘Terrified Twenty’ as they scaled the heights of the Europa Hotel, raising over £2,700 in doing so.
I have done a bungee jump and skydive before so I thought an abseil would be no problem but I was very wrong! Having been confident throughout our training, the prospect of walking over the edge of the thirteenth floor seemed incredibly daunting once I was actually there. After two failed attempts at going over the edge, I saw my family and colleagues watching far below me, and knew that I couldn’t let them or Hope for Youth down. Spurred on, I began my third attempt and with the help of my instructor Richard, finally got off the roof and onto the wall of the hotel, managing to smile for a photo!
Getting over the edge was definitely the hardest part and once I was on the wall, I actually started to enjoy myself. Although I was still terrified, I could enjoy the view of Belfast that few are privy to! I also felt incredibly proud of myself that I had conquered my fears and ticked another item off my bucket list.
I am delighted to have been a part of the ‘Tenacious Twenty’ and raising such an impressive amount of money for Hope for Youth NI, especially in only my second month at FinTrU! I am really looking forward to the next fundraising idea already!