Leap of faith for shopping centre boss to mark hospice partnership

THE BOSS of Yorkshire's biggest shopping centre took the leap year literally when he scaled Meadowhall's famous dome for charity.

Meadowhall centre director Darren Pearce and Claire Rintoul, Bluebell Wood chief executive, during the abseil.

To kick off a year of fundraising for Sheffield children’s hospice Bluebell Wood, Meadowhall centre director Darren Pearce and Claire Rintoul, the charity’s chief executive, abseiled down the 94.5ft curvature hand-in-hand. It is only the second time in the centre’s 25 year history that abseilers have been allowed on the Dome; the first time being to raise funds for injured British servicemen.

Mr Pearce, who also heads the Meadowhall Charity Support Committee, said the feat was “a totally new experience”.

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He added: “I’m more used to looking up at the Dome than looking down from it but it will get our new charity partnership off to a flying start.”

Ms Rintoul said: “Our supporters do lots of amazing things raise money for us and it’s great for me to challenge myself for the cause too. I see first-hand what a difference our charity makes to the lives of hundreds of children and their families. We’ve had our first successful fundraising weekend at Meadowhall already and we’re very much looking forward to the rest of our partnership, we’re sure shoppers and staff at Meadowhall will be raising money in some very creative ways.”

Bluebell Wood’s team of volunteers will be at Meadowhall’s Orange Zone car park, near Argos, on Tuesday, giving out collection bags for donated items of clothing to be donated as part of National Old Stuff Day. A van will also be on site that day to take away bags; and there will be a second collection at the same location on Tuesday March 9 for shoppers to bring in their donated items.

It costs more than £4m a year to run the charity.