The brave couple who took on a 165ft abseil - face down!

All smiles at the bottom of the drop
All smiles at the bottom of the drop

A brave couple are close to raising £1,000 after abseiling 165ft from a Tees Valley landmark.

Matt Richardson, 30, and Sarah Richardson 27, took on the daring challenge and described it as “very nerve wracking” as they plunged face down from the Transporter Bridge.

Matt on his way down

Matt on his way down

But their fantastic efforts have helped to boost the funds of a hospice.

They also looked back on an exhilarating charity experience.

Matt, who works as a senior optometrist at Specsavers in the Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool, said: “It looks much higher from the top looking down compared to being at the bottom looking up.

“It felt very unnatural leaning forward into a horizontal position with nothing but fresh air below me for the next 165ft. It was well worth it though, when we consider that so far we have raised approximately £950, with our JustGiving page remaining active until November.

It felt very unnatural leaning forward into a horizontal position with nothing but fresh air below me for the next 165ft. It was well worth it though, when we consider that so far we have raised approximately £950, with our JustGiving page remaining active until November

Matt Richardson

Matt and Sarah tackled the abseil to thank a hospice which supported them through their darkest hour.

Four years ago, the couple suffered the stillbirth of their twins who were conjoined and sharing organs.

In a previous Mail story, Matt admitted: “Without exception, it was the most devastating time of our lives, and it has been a long and difficult journey to get to where we are now.

“There have been lots of ups and downs along the way, but the support service have helped us with our progress to get to where we are now.”

The Hexham couple turned to the Adult Bereavement Service at the Tynedale Hospice at Home project, and described the help they received as invaluable.

Matt and Sarah, a full-time mum to their two-year-old daughter, decided they wanted to give something back to the hospice and came up with a fundraising challenge.

The couple said they “wanted to do something that would push the boundaries of what we felt capable of.”

Matt and Sarah can still take donations from anyone wanting to support their tremendous effort.

Visit www.justgiving.com/Sarah-Matt-FGR.