AN ARGUS reporter abseiled down the Newport Transporter Bridge on Saturday to raise funds for the paper’s 125 appeal in aid of St David’s Hospice Care. ESTEL FARELL-ROIG tells us more about her experience.

I LIKE things that get the adrenaline pumping, but, as I was driving down the SDR towards the Transporter Bridge on Saturday morning, my head was telling me “what are you doing? That looks very high.”

“You will be fine, you will love it,” my boyfriend Oliver kept telling me to reassure me, being able to see the doubt in my face.

The moment we got to the visitor centre, we were welcomed by the lovely staff from St David’s Hospice Care and those running the abseil itself. With all the gear on, there was no going back.

After going through all the security procedures, the photographer Chris Tinsley and I started climbing up towards the top of the bridge – probably the bit I was looking forward to the least, together with the jumping off.

There are a total of 278 steps to the top, not that I counted them as I was too focussed on not looking down to the water. Having said goodbye to Chris about halfway, it was only me now.

“Don’t look down or around, just look at the steps,” I kept telling myself – and, voila, all of a sudden, I was at the top. It was really windy there and I could see images in my head of myself dangling from one side of the bridge to the other hanging off the ropes.

As staff were explaining me how to do the abseil itself and getting me all set up, my heart started to beat fast, especially once I went under the railing and stepped down. All I had to do now is step into the air and, before doing so, I already started screaming.

The abseil itself was extremely quick, once I got the hang of it and let the rope slid through my hands rather than gripping it. I was too busy screaming and trying to look graceful for the pictures (without much success) to enjoy the landscape, if I am honest.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience - both the abseil and the fundraising. It is thanks to events like this that St David’s Hospice Care can provide their invaluable services.

Having raised £636 so far, I would like to thank my sponsors – Chepstow Racecourse, Bettws Cllr Kevin Whitehead and an anonymous sponsor, with all donating £50 each.

Gemma Sandhu, community and events fundraiser for St David’s Hospice Care, said last year’s abseil raised £12,000 and that she was hoping this year’s would raise just as much.

To donate to Estel’s justgiving page, visit here.