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Towering achievement for fundraisers

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Published by Hazel Rycroft for Keepmoat in Housing

Keepmoat’s Annie Curpan pictured with Michal Bis from Avalon Sustainable Energy Solutions. Keepmoat’s Annie Curpan pictured with Michal Bis from Avalon Sustainable Energy Solutions.

Thrill seeking fundraisers scaled new heights to raise more than £700 for a Bermondsey charity.

The six-strong group took up the challenge after seeing energy improvement works carried out by abseil to blocks of flats on the Avondale Square Estate.

Two residents who had their homes improved by the works took part in the event alongside representatives from the City of London Corporation and regeneration specialist Keepmoat.

Lisa Nazer, 37, has lived on the Avondale Square Estate all her life and is the chairperson of the residents’ association. She said of the abseil down the iconic Centre Point tower block: “It was one of the scariest things I have ever done, apart from giving birth.

“It took about ten minutes to get to the bottom and I was shaking by the time my feet touched the ground.

“It was a great thing to be able to do, I haven’t seen the estate from that height before and you could see everyone peering out of their windows to get a glimpse of me as I sailed down.

“The money raised will really help our community and I am now hoping to do a skydive to raise more funds.”

The daring group sailed past 18 floors, dropping around 140 feet, to raise cash for Time and Talents, a local charity that promotes community cohesion.

Fundraisers were accompanied by trained professionals from Avalon Sustainable Energy Solutions.

The energy efficiency work, completed six weeks ago, saw Keepmoat pump cavity wall insulation into the voids of the walls in an effort to reduce residents’ energy bills.

South Bermondsey ward member, Cllr Paul Kyriacou, who took part in the event, said: “I haven't got the best head for heights so to be honest it was a bit of an unnerving experience! But I was really pleased to be part of the abseil to celebrate the end of the insulation works by Keepmoat on the Avondale Square Estate, and raise money for local charity Time and Talents at the same time.”

The charity event marked the end of a £600,000 project by the City of London Corporation to improve the energy efficiency of 377 homes on the Avondale Square Estate and 275 homes on the York Way Estate, in the Borough of Islington.

The scheme was funded by the Government’s Energy Companies Obligation (ECO) scheme.

Annie Curpan, Sustainability Technical Lead at Keepmoat, was part of the team that organised and delivered the ECO-funded project. One of six taking part in the abseil, she said: “It was so nerve-racking, it’s definitely the most daring thing I have ever done for charity.

“It was fantastic to meet the brave residents taking on the towering challenge and those who cheered us on from the ground.

 “As well as celebrating the end of the improvement works with a bang, the event also saw us raise an impressive amount for charity.”

The works, carried out on both high and medium rise blocks, will help drive down the energy bills of households, with residents expected to save an estimated £140 per year on their energy bills and projected to save more than 7,500 tonnes of CO2.

Keepmoat’s colossal cavity wall insulation project saw the abseil team drill and inject insulation bead into the walls while using their legs, harnesses and rope for balance.

The eco abseilers, made up of a team of trained professionals from Avalon Sustainable Energy Solutions, spent six weeks working eight hour days in order to complete the project. Keepmoat carried out the project by abseil in order to minimise disruption to tenants who would otherwise have to put up with weeks of scaffolding.

The cavity wall insulation project was jointly organised by Keepmoat and the City of London Corporation and was completed on Monday, March 24.

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