St Helens mayor doing hospital abseil for charity

Mayor of St Helens Coun Pat Ireland
Mayor of St Helens Coun Pat Ireland
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The Mayor of St Helens is taking part in a nerve-racking abseiling challenges down the side of the town's hospital for charity.

Coun Pat Ireland, along with her daughters Sian and Sue - will make their way down the 50ft Lilac Centre building to raise money for her mayoral charities, the Steve Prescott Foundation and the Diabetes Centre based at St Helens Hospital.

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Also taking part in the challenge are St Helens Council chief executive Mike Palin, a number of other councillors and Linzi Prescott from the charity working in memory of rugby league legend Steve Prescott.

Commenting on taking on such a daring test, 74-year-old Coun Ireland, who was diagnosed with type one diabetes around nine years ago after taking ill on holiday, said: “When I first became the mayor, I hadn’t been up in a helicopter, so I said I’d go up in one if people sponsored me. I was rather scared but it was fabulous and managed to raise money for my charities.

“And then I thought: what else could I do? I held a ball which raised a lovely amount of money on Valentine’s Day, but I wanted a more physical challenge.

“I found out that Whiston and St Helens Hospitals’ Charity were holding two days of abseiling at Whiston and St Helens hospitals, I put myself forward and then I went cold all over thinking: ‘oh dear, why I have I said that?’

“The Diabetes Centre saved my life really, and showed me how to live with diabetes, while the Steve Prescott Foundation is a fantastic local charity which does wonders in raising awareness for health and wellbeing and helping other charities.

“My time as Mayor of St Helens is nearly at an end and I want to go out on a high, literally. Taking part in this abseil will help me to achieve this while topping up on my fundraising efforts for two wonderful causes.”

The event on Friday (March 15) will get under way at 9.30am, with Coun Ireland’s abseil expected to take place at around 12pm. Members of the public are welcome to attend to show their support.

Donation buckets will be available on the day and can also be made through Councillor Ireland’s JustGiving page at