Stairway to the Space Station

Sue Jones gets ready to clamber up her loft ladder

Sue Jones from Wells does not lack ambition. She has started a campaign to climb to the Space Station – which is 200 miles above the earth and 36 times the height of Everest. 

She lives in a bungalow and as her contribution to the Stairway to the Space Station fundraiser for charity Sue intends to climb the 28,028 feet of Everest on her loft ladder.

Sue, who is also a Wells Coronavirus Network volunteer, plans to recruit a big team of people from all over Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire to each record the height they climb each day.

Sue is horrified by the increase in domestic abuse across the country since lockdown and so the money raised will go to two charities which help families stay safe throughout the region – SIDAS (part of the You Trust) in Somerset, and Nextlink, which serves Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.

She worked in front-line domestic abuse for seven years, then led a research study of domestic abuse workers based in A&E wards at five hospitals.

Sue said: “I like a challenge, and I am sure that together we can do it. Just as it’s only by all working together that we can reduce domestic abuse.”

The national statistics for violence in the home are bad enough without the added stress of lockdown.

In the first three weeks of staying at home 16 women and children were murdered – nearly treble the pre-lockdown figure.

Nearly one in three women and one in six men experience domestic abuse during their lifetime. Women are more likely to suffer severe abuse than men and nine times as likely to be murdered by their partner.

Sue said: “There’s no handrail on my loft ladder and my daughter has made me promise to lay copious duvets and pillows on the tiled floor beneath – so I don’t burden A&E unnecessarily if I fall.

“I would like as many people as possible to take whether they can do a marathon climb, just a couple of steps a day, or hike up Glastonbury Tor.

“All we need to know is the vertical height they climb, then we can add this all together, show our progress towards the Space Station, and hopefully reach it by the end of July – if not sooner.”

People who want to take part should email with their name and town/village or text 07907 437187.

Details of the campaign can be found on the Facebook page, which also has links to the two charities.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger call 999. If you are not free to speak, use the Silent Solution – press 55 when prompted.

The National Domestic Abuse Hotline is open 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247. The Somerset Domestic Abuse Support helpline is open from 8am-8pm Monday-Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday and Sunday on 0800 69 49 999.