People in Wales can now sign up to zoom down Europe’s longest zip wire and raise vital funds for Parkinson’s UK.
If you’re looking for a new challenge for 2022, the 1.5 kilometre zip wire at Penrhyn Quarry in North Wales – known as Velocity 2 – is the perfect activity. With a top speed of 100 miles per hour and travelling a distance of 1,555 metres, you’ll get spectacular views over the quarry and Snowdonia National Park.
It’s also a chance to help transform the lives of around 145,000 people living with Parkinson’s in the UK, including approximately 7,700 in Wales.
Parkinson’s is the fastest growing neurological condition in the world, and currently there is no cure. With more than 40 potential symptoms, it affects everyone differently, but can have a tremendous impact on people’s lives.
Taking place on Saturday 30 April, registration for this unique challenge in support of the charity costs £50. The charity asks that participants raise at least £350 in sponsorship.
Matt Eagles, 53, from Northwich, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at only seven years old. He had deep brain stimulation surgery 1 over fifteen years ago but without his medication, Matt struggles with balance and rigidity. His medication can cause dyskinesia, making his body jerk and twitch uncontrollably. This makes undertaking everyday tasks most people take for granted extremely difficult.
Matt says: “Sometimes it looks like I’m sitting auditioning for Riverdance. I know it looks funny and I don’t mind laughing about it. It helps me cope. But sometimes the twitches can be pretty violent. Last summer, I ripped one of the muscles in my back which was extremely painful. Being able to take something that could give me back control of my body would be a game changer.”
However, Matt didn’t let his Parkinson’s stop him from taking on Velocity 2 in July 2021.
He adds: “I love to challenge myself, I really do. It makes me feel alive and in control – the fastest zip wire in the world was the perfect challenge for me, I loved it!”
Alison Knott, Regional Fundraiser at Parkinson’s UK, said: “Parkinson’s can devastate lives. While we’ve made huge breakthroughs in the last 50 years, there is still no cure and current treatments are not good enough.
“The zip wire at Penrhyn Quarry is a fantastic day out – and by signing up to take part, you’ll be helping fund research into the condition so that new, more effective treatments are developed in the future. Finding a cure really can’t wait.”
Anyone over the age of 10 can take part (age 10-17 need a participating adult). As well as being provided with all health and safety equipment, you will receive a Parkinson’s UK t-shirt along with support, guidance and fundraising tips from your local fundraiser.