We’re halfway through 2019 which is a special year for Gibsons, as it marks 100 years since we first began trading as a British, family business back in 1919. To celebrate this momentous milestone, the Gibsons team are taking on the #Gibsons100 Challenge to raise money for children’s charity, Jigsaw4U. The aim is for every member to set a personal challenge, which include 100 mile bike rides, a 25km trek and some members are even giving up snacking in the office! You can read all about the challenges here.
Managing Director Kate Gibson is planning to conquer her fear of heights and undertake a 100ft abseil at Peacehaven Cliffs with sales agent Stuart Nicholas and the rest of the Gibsons family, including Kate’s 9 year old daughter and her father Michael, the Chairman at Gibsons. They went to visit the cliffs at the end of June to talk through the process with the Peacehaven team and mentally prepare for the descent in a few months’ time. We caught up with Kate to learn all about her upcoming challenge:
“As someone with quite a fear of heights I am acutely aware of the enormity of what I have signed up for, so as the big day gets closer and closer, I thought some preparation might be in order. It seemed a family trip to Center Parcs would provide the ideal opportunity, so we attempted ‘The Drop’. Described as their most adrenaline filled activity; a tower with four sides and four different ways to get off it, some with a harness and some (ahem!) without.
Staring at the ground below and stepping off a ledge is as far as I’m concerned, the most unnatural thing for your body to do. I coped with the first three sides of the tower by shutting my eyes, relying on the harness and asking the instructor to pretty much nudge me off the edge whilst screaming louder than all of the children taking part put together. The final side of the tower offered no such support as it involves running and jumping off a ledge (3 different heights) into a large pillow below. Once again, all of the children including my 9 year old daughter and my 73 year old Dad (how impressive is he?!) managed this with what seemed relative ease, whereas I proceeded to deliberate and found myself asking the young twenty something if he gets lots of people like me; such a pathetic attempt at delaying it might has well have been ‘do you come here often?’ Anyway, finally something clicked and I managed a jump off the middle ledge. The top ledge will have to wait, but I definitely felt I faced my fears.
Round two of preparation involved a visit to Peacehaven Cliffs; the location of our abseil in September. The wind was blowing, which I imagine it will be on the day and all 100 feet of the cliff were proudly on display. I am not sure whether this has helped on hindered the situation, but I am determined to again face my fears and try and be brave. Three generations of the Gibsons family will be descending the cliff in recognition of 100 years in business. I am fully expecting to be utterly petrified on the day, but the children whom we are helping with be at the front of my mind driving me forward; children who face far greater challenges than us on a day to day basis. I am honoured to do this in support of Jigsaw4U.”
We have chosen to support Jigsaw4U as they help children and young people cope with bereavement, domestic abuse, child sexual exploitation, and other social and emotional issues. When we first learned about the work of Jigsaw4U we were immediately moved by the challenges their young people are facing and were delighted to make them our charity of the year. Coming together as a team to take on this challenge is what Gibsons is all about. By working together, we hope to raise as much as we can and help make a real difference to vulnerable children in our community.
Kate and the team would be hugely grateful for any donations big or small: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gibsons100