Mum will face daring heights

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A SON will be a Barnham mum’s inspiration as she plunges from the dizzy heights all in the name of charity.

Julie Horner, of Elm Grove South, has decided to mark her 50th birthday in a different way, she will be abseiling some 100m down Portsmouth’s Spinnaker Tower on Saturday.

“As my son has said I am celebrating 25 for the second time and I am doing it with a difference,” said Julie.

Her endeavour will also raise funds for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a charity close to her heart.

She said: “Two years-ago my son Stewie, who has Down’s syndrome was fortunate enough to be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Chichester Priory to take part in a five day voyage on the Lord Nelson one of the tall ships operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, which is based in Southampton.

“Stewie had a fantastic time, he was able to take the helm and set the sails as well as keep watch. For him it was an experience of a lifetime.”

Julie, who by day is a well-know piano teacher, hopes her charity plunge will help give someone else the same chance Stewie had.

“Stewie was very lucky that the rotary club were willing to help, I hope my abseil will help the trust even if it is just in a small way. So others can have the experiences of these voyages.

“It will also be a chance to raise awareness for the brilliant work the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the Chichester rotary club do to.”

The sailing trust’s ships are purpose-designed to make it possible for physically disabled people, including those in wheelchairs to take a full an active role in crewing a ship.

The on-board facilities make sure everybody has the opportunity to participate in all aspect of tall ship sailing.

Now 18 Stewie will be one of his mum’s biggest supporters when she undertakes her challenge.

“The whole family had been brilliant as have friends, and even some of my students, everyone has been so supportive.”

Despite being a little apprehensive Julie is looking forward to taking the plunge.

“To be honest I have tried not to think about it. But it will be something different. I visited my doctor to get the all clear to do it and he told me I was mad,” she said.

You can support Julie, who will celebrate her 50th birthday later this month at

More information about the Jubilee Sailing Trust is at