Evelina London Zip
What is Evelina London Zip?
On 2 December 2016, Londoners - and Father Christmas - had the opportunity to cross the river Thames by zip wire, in a thrilling one-day only event!
In a stunt that launched a Christmas period of fundraising for Evelina London Children’s Hospital, and in partnership with the London Fire Brigade, 20 fearless fundraisers set off over the river from the roof of St Thomas’ before landing next to the Houses of Parliament. They each pledged £50k or more each to take part in the exhilarating river crossing.
Raising funds for a children’s Clinical Research Facility
The money raised will go towards the £2.7 million needed to build a dedicated Clinical Research Facility at Evelina London. This new facility will allow vital research to improve treatments and cures for numerous conditions including autism, epilepsy, congenital heart disease, kidney disease and allergies.
Flying ‘superman style’ in a harness across the Thames, the brave participants travelled headfirst from a height of 52 metres over a distance of 463 metres at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour!
This unique experience saw several of London’s biggest organisations join forces to support the children’s hospital, including the London Fire Brigade which celebrated its 150th anniversary, the Port of London Authority and the Royal Parks.
Giving back with the London Fire Brigade
The London Fire Brigade’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Andy Roe devised the zip wire plan while sitting at his son Zaki’s bedside in an Evelina London hospital room. Zaki was taken ill in 2013 with viral encephalitis, a rare but serious infection that causes inflammation of the brain. Andy was warned by doctors that Zaki may not survive, but under the care of Dr Ming Lim and the specialist brain and spine inflammation service at Evelina London, Zaki’s condition has gradually improved.
Andy says: “My son might not be alive today if it weren’t for the NHS, especially Evelina London, so I wanted to find a way to thank the remarkable staff at this fantastic hospital. During the many hours I spent by my son’s bedside, I realised that I could use my specialist skills to rig up a zip wire from the roof of the hospital across the Thames and that perhaps people would pay for the chance to speed across it like a firefighter.”