Norwich mother and daughter abseil for charity

A mother and daughter from Norwich have abseiled 30ft down a tower to raise money for a charity close to their heart.

Debbie and Cheryl Norwell, who are both child minders from near Anglia Square, abseiled down the girl guide tower at Hautbois House, in Coltishall, to raise money for the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals Cots For Tots Appeal – which aims to expand the hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

The reason was because the pair, who run toddler group Cheeky Monkeys, were inspired by the unit which helped one of the children they look after.

In February 2009, Lily Osborne was born three months early, weighing just 1lb 7oz.

Mrs Norwell said: 'Lily spent 11 weeks on NICU, needing support with her breathing as her lungs were too immature to function, having a small hole in her heart monitored and being slowly introduced to food.

'Needing around the clock care, Lily fought hard.

'Two years on Lily is a loud, wonderful healthy little girl, she's overcome the odds and is now lapping up every life experience that she can. She's a little girl that you can't help but love as soon as you meet her.'

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Mrs Norwell said that since then they had always wanted to do some fundraising for the unit, which is one of three specialist neonatal units in the east of England.

Both are involved with a Rainbow group at the girl guiding centre and they decided that they would abseil down the tower for charity.

The challenge was made even greater for Debbie, 47, who admitted that she was scared of heights.

Mrs Norwell said: 'I have never abseiled before and I am scared of heights so it was a challenge for me. Cheryl had done it before but wanted to do it alongside me.

'When I got to the top of the tower I wondered what I was doing there, but I thought of the children and how much the money was needed.'

In the end Mrs Norwell enjoyed the experience so much that she decided to do it again with Cheryl, 28, again. She said: 'I thoroughly enjoyed it. I think I screamed the whole way down but wanted to experience it again.'

In total they managed to raise �720 for the unit.

Mrs Norwell added: 'A big thank you to friends and family who sponsored us and came to support us.'

Are you taking on a challenge for a charity close to your heart? Contact Local Life editor Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email