Gherkin runner takes on step challenge for charity

Di Moreton was one of more than 500 participants in the NSPCC's Step Change challenge - climbing 1,037 steps up to the 38th floor of the Gherkin.

Di Moreton was one of more than 500 participants in the NSPCC's Step Change challenge - climbing 1,037 steps up to the 38th floor of the Gherkin.

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A SEAFORD resident joined hundreds of fundraisers to run up London’s iconic Gherkin building for charity.

Di Moreton took part in the NSPCC’s Step Change challenge to help boost funds for ChildLine during its 25th anniversary year.

The 46-year-old raced up the building with more than 500 other people to the 38th floor. After climbing the 1,037 steps participants were rewarded with panoramic views of the city and a well-deserved glass of bubbly.

Di, who completed the challenge in 12 minutes and 33 seconds, said, “I wanted to raise funds for ChildLine, especially during its 25th anniversary year.

“The highlight of the event has really been the fantastic atmosphere and support that all participants have received. I ran with two friends and we would definitely do it again.”

Di, who took part in the challenge with two friends and is hoping to raise around £280, explains it was no easy feat, “After the sixth floor my legs became a dead weight. From then it was a battle. A little after, fresh legs kicked in and I made it to the 38th floor in 12 minutes 33 seconds, which I’m pleased with.

“This was a very different challenge for me, so am pleased I took part, but not sure if I would do again.”

Gherkineers, including television presenter Anna Williamson, competed as individuals or in teams of four for the fastest time up the well-known city building. This year saw the introduction of a family slot, allowing children over the age of eight to race alongside their parents.

Director of ChildLine Services Peter Liver said, “It was fantastic to see our supporters out in force taking part in the Step Change Gherkin challenge.

“Some of my colleagues raced to the top as part of a team of 25 to celebrate ChildLine’s 25th anniversary, and they’ve told me that although it was hard going at times, it was well worth it for the stunning views from the top and the knowledge it was all for a good cause. I’d like to thank everyone who took part, raising money for ChildLine in its 25th anniversary year, and helping us to provide a listening ear for vulnerable children and young people who may feel they have nowhere else to turn.”

This is the third year that Step Change has been staged and it is hoped that the event will raise £200,000 for ChildLine in its 25th anniversary year.