Hailsham couple conquer fears to scale O2 for charity

Kirsty Belton, 35, and her husband Bo, 39 SUS-150220-144004001
Kirsty Belton, 35, and her husband Bo, 39 SUS-150220-144004001

A Hailsham couple who share a fear of heights have completed a high-altitude climb to raise £1,120 for a charity that helped them when their children were in hospital.

Kirsty Belton, 35, and her husband Bo, 39, completed a vertigo-inducing climb to the top of London’s landmark O2 Arena on Monday 16 February 2015.

The couple completed the feat in aid of Ronald McDonald House Brighton – the free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families who have children receiving treatment at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

The couple say that they are ‘indebted’ to Ronald McDonald House Brighton after staying there for seven and a half weeks during the summer of 2011.

They were given a place to stay after their twin boys, Josh and Dan, were born at just 28 weeks and needed weeks of follow-up treatment and observation at Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

The twins are now three years-old and in good health.

Kirsty says that she and her husband were determined to complete the challenge at the O2 Arena – despite a shared fear of heights – and do something to say thank you.

Kirsty said, “Without Ronald McDonald House we would have been away from our boys at a time when they needed us most.

“We are forever indebted to them and saw our climb as a small way to say thank you.”

The high-altitude adventurers raised a total of £1,120 through their climb and have since visited the Ronald McDonald House to present a cheque to grateful staff.

Deputy manager Martin Coatsworth said, “Families are able to stay with us free of charge and, although we don’t expect anything in return, it’s always wonderful to have the support and gratitude of people who have stayed with us.

“We were delighted to welcome Kirsty and Bo back to the House.

“We were particularly happy to see their children looking 
so well after being born so early.”

Kirsty and Bo presented their cheque to the charity at Brighton on February 19.

Ronald McDonald House Brighton is run by Ronald McDonald House Charities – the independent charity that provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK.

There are 14 Ronald McDonald Houses in the UK and in 2014 they helped support more than 6,000 families with children in hospital.

Ronald McDonald House Charities relies on the generosity of supporters and fundraisers, including McDonald’s customers, without whom it would be unable to continue its work.

The charity was founded in 1989 and has been keeping families together for more than 25 years.

• For more information about Ronald McDonald House Brighton visit the charity’s website at www.rmhc.org.uk/brighton.