Don’t look down! Daredevil Stuart abseils down UK’s tallest sculpture to raise £1,200 for the Prader-Willi Association


A daredevil from Ely has abseiled down Britain’s tallest sculpture to raise money for charity – and to prove that disability needn’t be a hindrance to people’s lives.

Stuart Mitchell (third right) was one of a group who abseiled down the AcellorMittal Orbital tower i

Stuart Mitchell (third right) was one of a group who abseiled down the AcellorMittal Orbital tower in London last weekend. - Credit: Archant

Stuart Mitchell, 23, was one of a team to scale the AcellorMittal Orbital tower at the Olympic Park – a structure that stands a whopping 115 metres above the ground.

Stuart has Prader-Willi syndrome – a genetic disorder which effects roughly one in 15,000 people. It usually leads to obesity, diabetes and intellectual impairment – but he has defied his condition by taking on a number of sporting challenges set by the Prader-Willi Syndrome Association UK, which supports those with the condition and their families.

The former Highfields student has tackled the Great North Run, two London 10k races, won silver and bronze at the National Disability Swimming Championships, carried the Olympic torch through St Neots in 2012 and climbed the O2 in London, raising thousands for the charity.

His latest challenge saw him raise over £1,200 for the PWSA.

His father, Kevin, said: “Prader-Willi normally manifests itself as chronic obesity but Stuart has always been very active.

“He’s done quite a few challenges and whilst the conditions were a little windy, he showed no fear in London.”

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Stuart said: “Abseiling down the AcellorMittal Orbital tower was great. I was a bit slow to start but soon I was whizzing down. I always like a challenge.

“The Prader Willi Association helps families with members like me with information, and support. “Without them it would be difficult to get all the information my family need to keep me so healthy. “They also help when we have a problem with complicated issues with social services and housing.

“Because it is a rare genetic condition it is only a small charity, so every penny is very important to them.”

His mum, Anne, said: “Apparently Stuart was one of the keener ones to go over the edge, and unlike some of the others did not swear as they were encouraged to go over!

“He loved the experience and is looking forward to the next challenge that he is set.”

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