Previously on Well Eye Never…
[Dramatic music starts] Hello, my name is Glen,
and I am visually impaired. I struggle to see things at a distance, like
signs and details on objects. They have to be close up to me. And that’s caused by a
condition called nystagmus, which makes my eyes shake and wobble about all the time. I also have a condition called aniridia, which
means I’m more sensitive to bright sunlight and glare, and find it harder to adjust in the dark,
because I don’t have an iris in my eye. It hasn’t stopped socialising, it hasn’t
stopped me getting out and about. I’ve done so much since moving to the city.
I didn’t think I’d do this much. It’s been so worth putting
the effort in to do these things. The Nystagmus Network invited me to give my
first ever public speech about my disability. That was a massive achievement for me. I’ve
also met James Buller from the Aniridia Network. I want to keep meeting new people
and trying new things. I’m taking on the biggest challenge I’ve ever
faced, and I need your help to get me through it. I’ll be abseiling down the ArcelorMittal Orbit
Tower in London’s Olympic Park, in aid of Moorfields Eye Charity, to raise money for
research into the eye condition nystagmus. I have never abseiled before,
so it’s a big leap for a beginner like me, dropping 80 metres down
the UK’s tallest sculpture. So your money will help to fund
pioneering research into the condition at Moorfields Eye Hospital
and University College London. Thank you to Claire, Manca, my family of course,
Emma, Katie and Amelia, Nick and Fiona, Rafie Cecilia, Jessica Beal, Veronica van Heyningen,
Emily Davison, Joyce Brennan, Fern Lulham, Terry and Marion, James Buller, Lyn Buller,
Sarah, my best mate Simon, Emma James, Irene, Dave and Marie, Sam, Emma, John and Zoe,
Sarah Bell, Holly, Ian, Terri, Steven Reid, Wendy and Pauline, Paul Vassilliou
Dean and Rhona Dunbar. Ok, I am absolutely stunned right now. Richard Osman, from Pointless, he’s donated £250! Thank you to everybody who donated so far,
it’s really very much appreciated. [Dramatic music ends] [Acoustic guitar intro music] Hey everybody and welcome back to my channel,
or welcome to my channel if you’re new here. As you can see from my t-shirt, we did it!
We finally completed the abseil. It was delayed by a month because of the weather, but it
finally went ahead on Sunday 21st October. And it was like it was meant to be. It was
a perfect day weather-wise, with clear blue skies and sunshine, there was no mist about, there
was no wind, and the temperature was lovely. So yeah, it was just absolutely perfect. And
it was an amazing experience, which I hope you’re gonna get a sense of when you see the
footage in a moment. As you’ll have seen from the recap just then,
I was doing it in aid of nystagmus research, as were 9 other people. And my friend James
from the Aniridia Network was also involved. I think there were a few other people raising
money for Moorfields too, but we didn’t get to meet them or have contact with them.
But congratulations to them as well. But yeah, in terms of Team Nystagmus, there
were 10 of us. And between us we’ve raised over £7,500 for nystagmus research,
which is absolutely fantastic. I myself, at the time of filming this, have
raised over £900, which is amazing. So thank you very, very much to everybody who donated
towards that. You’re all gonna get a shoutout at the end of this video in the credits, and
you’re also mentioned in the blog post as well. Anybody who donates after this will also get
shoutouts in later favourites videos and things. But if you donated before this video went
live, you are in the credits. Unless you were anonymous of course. But I know who a few
of you are as well, and even those I don’t, it doesn’t matter. You’re all amazing,
whoever you were. You’re all amazing. So thank you very, very much. It really will
make a huge difference to many thousands of people’s lives, because this research is really
fundamental and pioneering. So yeah, it was a really amazing day. I was
there with my friend James, who as I said was doing it for the Aniridia Network, and
then Claire and Matt who were doing it, like me, for the Nystagmus Network. There were
other people there earlier in the day who we didn’t get to meet. So I got there, I was able to watch James
do his abseil first. Which was nice, because it made it feel a bit more reassuring
that it was going to be alright. Talking to him afterwards, he was
perfectly happy with how it went. And then Claire, Matt and I all went up together,
because we’d all booked in to the same slot. So we were all able to go up and support each
other, which was nice, as well as having James and other friends on the ground watching us
too. And there were also a couple of ladies there from Moorfields Eye Charity as well,
which was nice. Then yeah, we went through and signed
the obligatory health and safety form, as you do in a situation like this, and
we got all kitted up and everything. Matt got changed into his Tigger outfit before
he did his! He looked very adorable. The abseil is run by Wire & Sky, who have
done abseils off the Orbit for a long, long time now. And they also do the climb up the
O2, where you can climb on to the roof of that arena. And they do other bits and pieces
as well. They’re a very well known and well respected company in that kind of area. So
there was never any question about there being any problems with it. And the staff there were just absolutely amazing.
So friendly, so patient, so helpful. They had no problems with the fact that I was visually
impaired. And we were allowed to wear our dark sunglasses, because we’re quite sensitive
to the sunlight. And they were just really helpful, really good at showing us
what we needed to do. The abseil is really easy once you’re in the
air. It’s the first bit getting off the edge, as you would expect, that’s the hardest bit. Not so much the height, I wasn’t so bothered
about the height as such. I think what I found quite weird was the whole leaning back into
nothing. Because you lean back over the edge, and then you step off from there. That was kind of going against every instinct
in my body, leaning back into nothingness. So it was fighting that natural instinct,
that urge, to stand up and not overbalance. [Glen to Instructor] You feel like you’re
gonna fall off, don’t you? [Instructor] It’s a bit of an unnatural thing to do.
[Glen] It is very, very weird right now. [Instructor] And then what you’re gonna do
now, you’re gonna start leaning back, ok? Start leaning back, just keep leaning back.
Just relax, keep leaning back. [Glen] Ooh, woah! [Instructor] Just relax, relax.
You’re not going anywhere, ok? [Glen] Yeah, I know, I’m just…
I’ve not done this before, so… [Instructor] I know, just take your time, ok? [Back to Glen voiceover] So it did take me
a couple of minutes or so to get back far enough. Once I started doing it, and I got
used to feeding the rope through, which is all you have to do, then it was fine. And the lady there, I don’t know her name,
bless her, but she was incredible. She was just so patient with me, and so helpful, in
just easing me back over. She made it seem really easy. So thank you very much
to her for that. Once I’d leant back far enough, then I had
to step down on to a metal ledge underneath the platform. And then you just basically
step off that, and then you’re dangling in mid-air, basically. And from that point it’s very, very comfortable.
You just feel like you’re sitting down in this harness. It’s really quite comfortable
and relaxing to be honest. And yes, it is a free-fall abseil. You’re
not walking down the building or anything. You are literally coming out diagonally from
the tower in mid-air, it’s great. I know that may sound daunting to some, but honestly it’s
so, so comfortable. We just took our time going down. It took
us about quarter of an hour I think to do the descent. Some people do it much quicker
than that. It just depends on your nerves, on your mood. We really wanted to savour it,
which we did. I was able to hire a GoPro to wear on my helmet.
You hire it from reception for £15, you pay by card there. And then once you’ve finished
you hand the GoPro in to the shop, they plug it into the computer to get the footage off it,
you put your email address in, and then they send you a link to download it
within 24 hours. You can’t take your own GoPro in, and you certainly
can’t take a mobile phone or something up there with you. If you want footage of you doing it,
then you have to hire their GoPro. Which is fair enough, it means they can ensure
it’s secure and everything. But it’s well worth it. £15 I think for that
sort of souvenir, I think that’s really, really good. So I’m really happy with how that’s come out,
it’s a lovely memento of the day. And because my sight isn’t perfect as well,
it means I can have another look and see things that perhaps I missed on the day. I could see fairly well, thankfully. I could
see what the buildings were, how tall some buildings were relative to others. I could
see the Aquatics Centre on the left hand side from me, and the stadium on the right hand
side, and the big patch of grass beneath us where everybody was cheering us on who had
come to support us. So I had no problems looking at the view. So that’s what you’re going to see now.
I’ve given you some edited highlights of this. I hope it gives you a good sense of what it
was like. Obviously you have to be there to really experience it. But I hope it gives
you a good flavour, a good sense of what it was like for us going down. It was incredible,
I do encourage you to do it if you can. So just some very thank yous before you see
the footage. Thank you to Wire & Sky for the footage first of all, and for making sure
we were safe and making it such a wonderful experience. It was absolutely first class,
it was amazing. Thank you so, so much. Thank you to Moorfields Eye Charity for organising
the event and for supporting us on the day, and for all the work you do in general. Likewise,
thank you to the Nystagmus Network as well for all their support, and for putting Team
Nystagmus together and for promoting us and everything. Thank you to everyone at the ArcelorMittal
Orbit for being so nice to us as well, and allowing us to abseil off their tower. Thank you of course to everyone who came out
and supported us, that really, really helped. It was great to have people cheering us on
from the ground. And of course a huge thank you to everyone
who sponsored me. Like I say, we raised over £7,500 between us. it’s going to make a huge
difference to nystagmus research. And if you can donate any more now, please do.
My page Is open until 23rd of March 2019 at JustGiving.com/WellEyeNever. And there
is also a text donation option as well, which is detailed on that page. So yeah, that’s enough of my rambling, let’s
get to the good stuff. Thank you very, very much again for your support,
and here is the footage. Enjoy! [Instructor] Ok Glen, if you look down there,
can you see the big grey ledge? [Glen] I can see there’s a big
metal thing there, yeah. [instructor] You’re gonna step on it with
one foot at a time, ok? [Glen] This is the hard bit isn’t it! [Instructor] You can bend your knees slightly.
You can lower yourself as well if you’d like. [Glen] And I just step on to that with one foot.
How far away is it? I can’t judge distances. [Instructor] It’s like a metre,
maybe a bit less than that. It’s just like stepping on a big step. That’s it, well done. [Glen] And put the other one on there as well.
[Instructor] That’s it. Nice one, great job. And what we’re gonna do now, if this is gonna
be easier for you, if you let go of the rope and pop your hands up here. And then just
drop your legs completely, ok? Pop your knees against the wall. [Glen] Bring my knees in like that?
[Instructor] Yes. So drop your legs completely. [Glen] Just let go completely?
[Instructor] Yes, you can unhook your legs now. [Glen] Just let go completely
so I’m hanging in the air. [Instructor] That’s it, yeah, there you go.
Nice one, well done. [Glen gasps with relief!] [Instructor] You ok?
[Glen] Yeah! That was the hard bit! [Instructor] Ok, you’re gonna pop your hands
back on the rope. Nice one, yep. That’s it. And now keep lowering yourself.
That’s it, and you’re fully suspended! There you go, well done Glen,
you’re done with the hardest bit ok? Now just take a deep breath, relax, ok? Have
a look around and enjoy it. Enjoy the view. [Glen] Thank you very much!
[Instructor] That’s it, well done Glen. [Glen] That is an amazing view. Ah, I’m getting the hang of this now,
just feeding the rope through. [Glen] That is an amazing view.
[Claire] It’s cool isn’t it? [Glen] It’s beautiful. [Glen] There you go! Hiya!
[Claire] Hiya! [Both laugh] [Glen] There’s the stadium. It’s got me spinning around now. [Laughs] I’m getting used to feeding it through
as well now, I think I’ve got the hang of it. You get so distracted by what you’re looking at!
[Claire] I know! [Spectator below] Go on Glen!
[Glen calls back] Hello! Alright! [Spectator whistles back] [Glen] Aquatics Centre. [Glen] Give us a wave. [A train can be heard travelling
along the tracks in the background] [Glen] We’ve picked such a good day for this
weather-wise. [Claire] I know, it’s fabulous. [Glen] It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful. [Glen] River down there. [Glen] It’s actually quite relaxing!
[Claire] I know, it’s quite nice actually! [Claire] Great day to do it.
[Glen] It’s lovely, it’s absolutely perfect. Couldn’t have asked for better weather.
There’s no strong winds or anything and the temperature’s nice. Clear skies,
clear view, there’s no mist or anything. [Claire] No, it’s perfect. [Claire] I’m feeling great, I’d do this again. [Glen] Now I know what it’s like,
I would certainly do it again, yeah. [Spectator] Keep going Glen!
[Glen calls back] Thank you! [More shouts and cheers from the spectators] [Claire] It’s quite relaxing isn’t it?
[Glen] It’s very relaxing. It is quite hard work on your arms though.
[Claire] Yeah. [Glen] Because you wanna kind of make sure
the rope doesn’t feed through too quickly. [Spectator] Well done Glen! [Glen] Thank you!
[Spectators cheer and clap] [Spectator] Well done! [Spectator cheers] Not long now! [Glen] Yep, nearly there now. [Glen] Bye bye view! [Spectators cheer] Well done Glen! Well done Claire!
[Glen calls back] Thank you! [Spectators clap] [Claire] Don’t tell me I’ve got my back to everybody! [Lady Spectator] Go on girl!
[Glen] Go on Claire! [Lady Spectator] Do it for the girls! [Claire laughs]
[Glen] Show ’em how it’s done girl! [Spectators cheer and applaud
as Glen and Claire reach the ground] [Intro fades in for
upbeat music over credits]