A tip-top time at Tower Climb

On Saturday 2 March, over 300 people dared to climb the steps of the Walkie Talkie building for GOSH – all 828 of them. Here's a look back at how the day unfolded. 

The morning kicked-off with an invigorating warm-up in the reception area, ensuring the first wave of Tower Climb participants were wide awake and ready to take on their ambitious challenge. 

Shortly after 9 am it was time for them to start, with one climber, Sarah, reaching the top just 4 minutes and 47 seconds later.

“It feels very special to pass the finish line first and reach the Sky Garden with it’s spectacular views," she says. "I’m part of a tower climb running team and we do lots of events all over the world, but participating in this one today is particularly special as it’s such a great cause to be supporting and in our very own home town of London.” 

The next couple of hours flew by and soon it was time for the last cohort of participants to take to the stairs. This included another seasoned tower runner, Laurence, who completed the challenge in a staggering 4 minutes and 19 seconds. 

But recorded times aside, every single Tower Climb participant did a stellar job – each covering 36 floors (36 floors!) by foot in a bid to raise vital funds for Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Once inside the verdant Sky Garden (aka Europe's highest public garden), they were treated to a complimentary drink and sweeping city views. Participants and their families were also given the opportunity to try out our new virtual-reality headsets, taking them on an immersive tour of the hospital. 

A particularly pertinent climb 

For one family, both the date and location of 2019’s GOSH Tower Climb happened to be very special. 

The Sky Garden is where participants Sophie and Daniel got engaged, and the 2 March 2019 marked the first birthday of their son, Henry, who is treated at GOSH for a condition known as lymphatic malformation. 

How did the family find the day itself? 

“We’re so pleased that we completed the Tower Climb in under ten minutes – this was our aim!” says Sophie. 

“It was a great event and really motivating knowing that so many friends and family had sponsored us to take part and that the money we’ve raised is supporting the hospital where Henry is being treated.

"Henry was waiting for us at the top with our families in the Sky Garden, a place which holds special memories for us. This gave us the drive we needed to reach the summit! 

“It was such a lovely surprise when the (birthday) cake came out and everyone started singing Happy Birthday to Henry! It was his first taste of chocolate and he definitely approved! We spent the rest of the weekend celebrating his birthday with family and friends.” 

The "best feeling ever" 

Prisha, a former patient at GOSH, took part in Tower Climb as a way to thank the hospital for everything it has done for her – and she's already raised over £1000. She took on the challenge with her best friend, Amy, with the two supporting one another throughout.

"I felt so proud of myself because before the event I thought I wouldn’t finish it due to getting tired (and my condition) and so when I finished it, I was quite surprised with myself but so proud," she says. "Getting to the top and seeing my family and friends was so lovey to celebrate the achievements and of course looking at the great view."

For Amy, the best thing about the day was the sense of community amongst the climbers. "Everyone was motivating one another to complete the climb," she says. "I thoroughly enjoyed the event and I'm already looking forward to getting a big group of friends together to take part next year!" 

Amy and Prisha climbing the stairs

A towering impact (so far!)

We’re proud to announce that, so far, Tower Climb has raised over £120,000. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who got involved this year – from participants to charity staff to supporters and donors. 

Are you interested in taking part in next year’s event? You can register your interest today! 

Count me in!