Barnardo's Scotland Your View Top of the world treat for charity fundraisers
A unique fundraising event which saw over 1,800 people ascend the Forth Bridge has raised over £137,775 for children’s charity Barnardo’s Scotland
The rare opportunity to ascend the Forth Bridge was organised by Barnardo’s Scotland’s charity partners Network Rail and Balfour Beatty. The event ‘Yourview19’ took place over two weekends 13 – 5 and 20 - 22 September.
Many people took the opportunity to celebrate ‘significant’ birthdays or anniversaries atop the North span of the bridge, for others who have seen it daily as they grew up, standing on top of the bridge was a childhood dream come true. One visitor who travelled from Hertfordshire has dreamt about being on top of the bridge since he was eight, when he first saw it on Blue Peter over 45 years ago.
From the engineering genius behind its design, to the historical accounts of its construction and its crucial role in Scotland’s operational railway, the bridge really is a national treasure*.
This year the bridge was ascended by two nonagenarians, Ella Brownlee who has now walked or been on top of all three bridges crossing the Forth and Maureen Morison the great grandniece of Sir William Arrol.
Events Manager for the charity, Jordyn Armstrong, said: “We know this is a popular event but we are still overwhelmed by the interest in the bridge and the speed in which the places sell out.
“We owe a huge debt of thanks to Network Rail and Balfour Beatty for allowing this event to take place; for their support throughout the planning stage and for their help running the event over the six days. Thanks too, to those who bought tickets for Yourview19 making it such a happy and successful event – we are truly grateful.
“The most important factor is it has raised a great deal of money which will go towards supporting our Employment and Training services Barnardo’s Works and our Care leavers services, which both support young people across Scotland.”
Our Barnardo’s Works services supports over 1,200 young people, each year, move in to full-time employment by helping them access and in to work placements, volunteering, Modern Apprenticeships and accredited training. The most important factor is it gives them opportunities and the chance of a career and a more positive future. Around 440 care experienced young people in Scotland benefit from the support given to them by the charity’s leaving care services from finding them somewhere to live; helping them manage their money to supporting them continue with education or find work or training. Our care leaving services play a vital role in the transition from being in care to independent living.
Colin Hardie, Construction Superintendent for Balfour Beatty, said: “We are delighted to have worked with Barnardo’s Scotland for the third time to successfully facilitate their latest event at the Forth Bridge.
“Providing our support of events such as ‘Your View 19’ is yet another example of how we strive to support the communities in which we operate, helping to improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged young people in society.”
Alan Ross, Network Rail Scotland’s director of engineering and asset management, said: “The Forth Bridge is a truly unique structure and one which interests and inspires people across the globe.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with Barnardo’s Scotland and Balfour Beatty to open up the structure to the public and raise such a fantastic sum for the charity.
“I’d like to thank all those colleagues from Network Rail and Balfour Beatty who volunteered their time to make the event happen.”
The event attracted participants from the immediate surrounding area in Fife and Edinburgh, others travelled from across the UK and much further afield including France, Italy, Hong Kong and the USA.
Notes to Editors:
Barnardo’s Scotland work with more than 16,300 children and young people in over 140 specialised community-based services across Scotland and has over 100 shops. We believe in children and we believe every young person has a right to thrive. Our vision is to realise Thomas Barnardo’s dream of a world where no child is turned away from the help that they need. Our work includes: fostering and adoption services and support; helping children break free from sexual exploitation; supporting young people leaving care; helping young people in to employment and helping children living in poverty.
Employment Training Services, Barnardo’s Works - supports young people move in to sustainable independent employment by helping them access and in to work placements, volunteering, Modern Apprenticeships and accredited training. It also offers young people support in developing practical work skills needed to support continuous employment. The programme focuses on increasing confidence, resilience and self-esteem through employment, work experience, volunteering, educational opportunities and qualifications.
Care Leaving services provide transitional support to young care leavers including supported tenancies and on-going support from 151/2 up to the age of 26. The support includes: finding them somewhere to live offering them a range of housing options; helping them manage their money and support them continue with education or find work or training.
The Forth Bridge*, which spans the estuary (Firth) of the River Forth in eastern Scotland to link Fife to Edinburgh by railway, was the world’s earliest great multispan cantilever bridge, and at 2,529 m remains one of the longest. It opened in 1890 and continues to operate as an important passenger and freight rail bridge. This enormous structure, with its distinctive industrial aesthetic and striking red colour, was conceived and built using advanced civil engineering design principles and construction methods.
In a similar style to the world-renowned Sydney Harbour Bridge Walk, groups of between 12 to 15 people will put on safety harnesses before being led out from the South Queensferry side of the estuary onto the south cantilever, walking up to the view point at the top. Up to three groups an hour will be permitted on the bridge, with each tour estimated to last around two and a half hours.
It is estimated the bridge walk experience could attract around 85,000 visitors as a unique Scottish tourist attraction, bringing real benefits to the local community. There are also longer-term ambitions to develop visitor facilities at the north end of the Forth Bridge, which could see access to the top of the north cantilever via a lift.
The Forth Bridge is one of the world’s engineering icons and the plans we have submitted to deliver a South Queensferry based bridge walk experience offer a unique and memorable visit to one of Scotland’s most loved structures. The bridge really is a national treasure and there is real appetite to take the experience plans forward. This is a really exciting time for this project and one which starts another chapter in the bridge’s history.
Network Rail: Nick King: Nick.King3@networkrail.co.uk
Balfour Beatty: Poppy Watters: 07541 950674 / Poppy.Watters@balfourbeatty.com