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On Saturday 30 September, Runnymede supporter Gary Kakoullis abseiled more than 370ft down the Olympic Park sculpture, Britain’s highest freefall abseil.
He has already raised more than £1000 for us, and now that he has fulfilled his promise and is safely on the ground, he hopes to raise even more.
Gary’s experience in his own words:
“My name is Gary and I have just abseiled down the ArcelorMittal Orbit to raise money for the Runnymede Trust.
To abseil, I was in a harness attached to two ropes, and I had to step backwards off a platform above the viewing deck of the tower. I had to move the ropes to descend by placing one hand over the other to manipulate a pulley.
I was a little scared, as you can see from the photo, and I almost could not jump off the platform for being too heavy! Once managed to get off the platform, it was strange but a beautiful experience. The descent took four minutes altogether.
I wanted to do this to raise awareness of the amazing work that the Runnymede Trust is undertaking to highlight racial inequality.
I believe that everyone should have an equal opportunity to secure their dreams and needs, and I know we have a way to go until we reach a genuine meritocracy.
We must move from a society in which success is based on who you know, towards one where it is based on your potential.
My dream, as a middle-aged white man, matches the one that Runnymede has: for equal opportunity, and for everyone, regardless of background, to have an equal chance to shine.
I hope I have done a little to help Runnymede achieve some of that goal.”
Runnymede Director, Dr Omar Khan, said:
“Gary is a braver man than I am!
All of us at Runnymede are impressed by his brilliant efforts on the organisation’s behalf. We are also grateful for the Gary's show of support and confidence in our work, which means a lot.
It is an important time to keep race equality on the agenda, as recent evidence shows continuing prejudiced attitudes, which can hold black and minority ethnic people back in education, employment and elsewhere.
Runnymede is an independent, non-profit organisation. All our work is done thanks to funders and supporters like Gary who believe in our goal: to see a society in which your racial background has no impact on your opportunities or outcomes in life.”
If you are interested in a sponsored activity to raise money for Runnymede, please email our Office Administrator, Carol Sidney: firstname.lastname@example.org
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