Specialist children’s hospice challenges public to take on ‘once in a lifetime’ zipline at Yorkshire

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Martin House Children’s Hospice, which provides specialist palliative care to children and young people with life-shortening conditions, has launched a first of its kind, 240 metre zipline at Xscape in Yorkshire.

For three days only, between 17th-19th May, from 10am, visitors will have the opportunity to zoom down ‘The BIG Zip’ and raise vital funds for the charity’s public appeal, ‘THE BUILD’, set to be completed by winter 2025.

THE BUILD, launched in April by its ambassador and manager of England’s national men’s football team, Gareth Southgate, will enable Martin House to continue to support children, young people and their families for many years to come. These plans have been created in collaboration with the families using the hospice, including the children themselves, to ensure their needs are front and centre of the project.

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The one-of-a-kind 240m zipwire is suitable for ages 10+ and will see adrenaline junkies zoom across the car park, from the heights of the Xscape building, with all participants receiving a medal and certificate for taking part.

Yorkshire Thrill Seekers Wanted: Fly high on the 240m ziplineYorkshire Thrill Seekers Wanted: Fly high on the 240m zipline
Yorkshire Thrill Seekers Wanted: Fly high on the 240m zipline

Famous faces fundraising for ‘The BIG Zip’, including Radio Heart presenter Dixie, in addition to families who use the hospice on a regular basis, including Caroline Lambert.

She said: “Just days after being born prematurely and already fighting for her life, I got the devastating news that my daughter Evelyn had suffered severe brain damage.

“It was so overwhelming, but after that first chat with Martin House, I felt for the first time, there was support out there, and we could maintain an element of normality in our lives.”

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As well as weekly home visits, the family also had the chance to stay at the hospice, both for symptom control, and respite stays.

Caroline, added: “The Martin House care team was there to help us with difficult decisions, and to ensure someone was awake 24/7, holding Evelyn, so I could take pockets of sleep, but still give us time to be alone as a family too.

“Evelyn died at home peacefully and I was able to bring her to Martin House, where I could spend a few more days saying goodbye, with the support of the team. Raising money for THE BUILD is so important for families using the hospice and we encourage everyone to give what they can to support this appeal.”

Consisting of two phases, THE BUILD will bring to fruition the hospice's plans to transform the dedicated children's and teenager's wing, as well as a wellbeing and education centre.

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The wellbeing centre will include a hydrotherapy pool, day therapy space, consulting rooms and a sensory room with immersive cinema experience.

The education centre will keep Martin House at the forefront of paediatric palliative care, with adaptable spaces to facilitate training for healthcare professionals across the region.

Clair Holdsworth, CEO of Martin House Children’s Hospice, said: “We're thrilled to announce 'The Big Zip', our exclusive fundraising challenge happening in May and a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity at Xscape, to raise vital funds for 'THE BUILD'.

“Through this ambitious project, we can really transform our facilities to meet the evolving needs of children with life limiting conditions and their families. Every penny our supporters fundraise for 'The BIG Zip' will help Martin House reach our £2 million fundraising goal over the next 18 months.

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“We're calling on the people of Yorkshire to join us for this unique fundraising event and help make a difference when families need us the most.”

During the event, families and children aged 5+ can also take on an extra challenge, ‘The LEGO walk’, replicating a classic ‘hot coals walk’ but with thousands of loose LEGO pieces, testing the strength and courage of challengers, as they attempt to cross the path of prickly bricks.

Tickets for the fundraising challenges, in partnership with HARIBO, start from £5 for The LEGO Walk and £36 for the exclusive zipline experience.

In addition to the sign-up fees, Martin House is encouraging supporters to help the hospice by raising a minimum of £50 sponsorship. For more information or to sign up to the event, please visit: https://www.martinhouse.org.uk/events/the-big-zip/

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Be a supporter, donate and keep updated on the charity’s latest news here: www.martinhouse.org.uk/thebuild

Zip line challenge (ages 10+)*: £36 per person

*Please note that age and physique restrictions apply to this activity. The launch hatch (which you will jump from) measures 100cm x 58cm. There is a minimum weight of 30kg, in addition to the 10+ age restriction. See our FAQs below for further details.

LEGO Walk challenge (ages 5+):£25 family (2 adults & 2 children)£10 adult (ages 18+)£5 child (ages 17 and under)

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