Fundraise Your Way

Geraldine Giannopoulos

How joking around led Geraldine to sign up for a 141 ft abseil challenge to raise vital funds for epilepsy research.

Name Geraldine Giannopoulos
Cause fundraised for Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre
Method of fundraising Abseiled 141 ft (43m) down the David Hume Tower
Fundraiser Geraldine duiring the abseil
14 floors up, 141ft straight down.

Why did you decide to fundraise for your chosen cause?

Without knowing vast amounts on epilepsy and with having 2 young children myself, I was astonished to learn that over 60,000 people are living with epilepsy in the UK alone.

The research team at MMEC investigates the causes of childhood epilepsy with an aim to developing new treatments and ways to better manage epilepsy. This in turn helps and supports so many children and their families who live with epilepsy.

How did you raise money?

After joking at work about signing up for crazy challenges, a colleague and myself mutually nudged each other into signing up for the David Hume Tower (DHT) abseil. I told myself that it would be great fun and my children would think I was a really cool mum! Not long after that did the dawning realisation of the challenge start to set in, as I’m really not that good with heights and living close by to the DHT meant that I would see the building pretty much every day (which in mind now looked more like Dubai’s Burj Khalifa).

With the help of the lovely Big Leap team, I quickly got my JustGiving page set up and started to share it with friends and family. I was thrilled at the immediate response, words of encouragement and generous donations that quickly came flooding in.  There was even a bake sale organised at work for the 2 of us that were taking part in the abseil. I’ve not personally been affected by epilepsy, but it was clear that many of those around me had.  I’ve taken part in fundraising before for other charities but somehow raising money for the Muir Maxwell Centre felt different, I felt part of a team.

The abseil took place on a beautiful early Autumn morning. The views from the top of the DHT were amazing and all kitted up with a GoPro attached to my helmet, I waited nervously. Very unexpectedly I was the first one called up to going over the edge. With hindsight, this was probably for the best as I didn’t have much time to think about backing out!  The abseil organisers were fabulously supportive and before I knew it I was over the edge and walking down the 14 floors.   

I was overwhelmed by family and friends who turned out (and sent messages of support) so early on a Sunday morning to cheer me, I could hear them on my descent and this helped massively.  Together with the generosity and kind words of so many donators, I was incredibly pleased (and relieved) that I’d done it.

And I was considered a cool mum at the girls’ primary school, for one day anyway…

Fundraising wisdom

Fundraising for something which is a bit more unusual helps! The abseil felt like a proper challenge for me and this was definitely reflected in the generous donations and words of encouragement I received from family and friends. It can be awkward asking people to donate again and again but choosing to do something that many couldn’t contemplate increases the fundraising impact!

Related Links

Muir Maxwell Epilepsy Centre