The Forum Team Takes to the Ropes to Raise Money for Charity

The team behind The Forum in Gloucester got their climbing gear on this Saturday, abseiling 100 feet down the side the city’s landmark development to raise thousands of pounds for charity.

The Forum is part of the £200milion development in Gloucester city centre by Gloucester City Council and its partners Reef and the University of Gloucestershire.

Kier has worked over the past few months to organise a ‘One of a Kind’ event on the construction site, giving people the opportunity to raise money for charity.

It’s thought to be the first time anyone has abseiled down a live construction site and 49 daring team members took on the challenge. They were joined by MP Richard Graham. The original fundraising goal was £6,500 –and more than £11,500 has been raised so far, with donations still welcome. 

It was organised by construction company Kier in aid of the The Trussel Trust, which provides food banks and support to people locked in poverty, and The Lighthouse Charity, which offers emotional, physical and financial wellbeing support to the construction community and their families.

Councillor Stephanie Chambers, cabinet member for Planning and Housing at Gloucester City Council, who also recently took on a charity skydive, accepted the abseil challenge.

She said: “I was a bit nervous beforehand, but I knew it was for two fantastic causes that do such good work, and my children were cheering me on from below – and of course it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“The views were spectacular, and I was thrilled to be asked to take part. The Forum is at the heart of the amazing regeneration that is taking place across the city and will help to attract new businesses and investment to our city. It was great to be part of the team that can say they abseiled from the top of it.”

Development director for Reef Group, Esther Croft, also took part. She said: “One of the building’s greatest features is its height and stunning views – great for an abseil!

“We’re pleased that the site of one of Gloucester’s newest and most exciting builds, even in the midst of construction, can offer a location for a fundraising activity for two very important causes. I would encourage people to donate here if they are able to.”

Thirty-five team members from Kier came from across the UK to scale the building, including scaffolders, engineers and ground-workers.  

Andy Bolas, regional director at Kier Construction Western & Wales, said: "This event was the first of its kind to take place on a Kier site and we are thrilled with how it went.

"Not only did those brave enough to take on the abseil enjoy an experience of a lifetime but it helped raise money for two incredible charities, The Lighthouse Club and Trussell Trust.

"Thank you to the team at The Forum for making this event happen and to our partners and supply chain for their support."

The Forum site will offer two brand new flexible office spaces and is ideally situated next to the train and bus stations. The car park will be fitted with EV chargers – with the operator to be announced in the coming weeks.

Phase One of The Forum was completed earlier this year, including residential and retail elements. The Whitefriars apartment complex consists of 19 contemporary, architect-designed homes, 90 percent of which have already been snapped up.

IHG Hotels & Resorts, which has hotels in major cities, announced in March it would bring Hotel Indigo, their flagship international boutique brand, to Gloucester. The landmark deal is set to attract further business and people to land in the city.

The rooftop of The Forum offers stunning views of the city skyline and Gloucestershire countryside. At around 100ft high, it’s a long way down, and an ideal location for a city abseil.

You can donate to The Forum charity abseil here until September 30.