Daredevils took fundraising to new heights as they abseiled 160ft from the belltower at Guildford Cathedral as part of an Aldershot homelessness charity’s "biggest ever" fundraiser.

Some 47 volunteers made their way to the historic cathedral on Saturday, first climbing the 249 steps of the belltower, before descending to the green awash with supporters below.

Cobham bot Jack Dyer, 9, and his dad Andy both completed the abseil

The challenge was in aid of The Vine Day Centre in Station Road, which helps homeless and vulnerable people rebuild their lives by teaching them skills, improving their mental wellbeing and reducing substance dependency.

Among the abseilers were a team of six from Waterfords Estate Agents; former Mayor of Rushmoor, Councillor Martin Tennant; Aldershot Garrison Commander Colonel Mac MacGregor and a duo from Riverford Organics, which also provided fruit and juice for participants.

All smiles among the Vine Centre fundraisers

Nine-year-old Jack Dyer and his dad Andy also took part, with Jack overcoming his initial fear of the height with some gentle encouragement from other abseilers.

Aldershot soldiers also supported the event by ensuring everyone made it up the belltower steps safely.

Mary Webb, corporate and community fundraiser for the Vine, thanked all those who took part, supported and helped organise the charity’s "biggest ever" fundraiser, including the events team at Guildford Cathedral, who she said were "a joy" to work with.

Well done Jack!

“It was brilliant, it was such a good day,” she said. “There was a real buzz all day which was fabulous.

"A massive thank-you to all everybody who came and abseiled, everyone who supported someone and sponsored someone. It’s the biggest ever fundraising event that we have done.

“I shall have my work cut out planning lots more exciting events.”

The participants have raised thousands for the Vine Centre through their efforts

She added that the charity, since the start of this financial year in April, is facing a 38% funding cut and she’s anticipating that the abseil will have raised between £6,000 and £7,000 to help "plug that hole".

It costs £328 to sponsor a client of The Vine for a year, and if £6,000 were raised, it would support roughly 18 clients.

'Heartwarming'

Also among those taking part was Get Hampshire news editor Charlotte Neal, raising more than £300 for the Vine.

"It's an experience I won’t be forgetting in a hurry, and not just because of the abseil itself," she said.

"I signed up for the challenge because since starting as the Aldershot reporter in August 2015, I have written numerous stories about the Vine and wanted to do my bit to help."

Great look Charlotte

Added Charlotte: “The charity is facing a massive funding cut this year, like many others in the region, and you’d think that would dampen the spirits of those working or volunteering there, but it really hasn’t.

"On Saturday, it was heartwarming to see how many people were willing to throw themselves off the cathedral to support the Vine.

“Hearing their stories and seeing their enthusiasm was the best part of the day for me, and the abseil itself was a close second.

"My stomach was in my throat as I went over the edge, but I quickly calmed down and took in the incredible view of Guildford.”

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/CharlotteNeal2.