Tunbridge Wells Nurse Takes on 138-Metre Abseil to Help Teen with Cerebral Palsy

03 Jul 2024

Tunbridge Wells Nurse Takes on 138-Metre Abseil Challenge in Brighton to Help Hartfield Teen Regain Independence

Abseil event from the i360 in Brighton

Emma Brown, a dedicated nurse from Tunbridge Wells, is set to take on an exhilarating 138-metre abseil from the i360 in Brighton. The event, scheduled for July 13, aims to raise crucial funds to aid 14-year-old Matilda Kelly in regaining her independence. Matilda, a teenager from Hartfield, East Sussex, suffers from cerebral palsy, which significantly impacts her mobility.

Matilda’s Journey and the Need for Surgery

Matilda Kelly has faced numerous challenges due to her cerebral palsy. Despite undergoing several surgeries, including a major one in America funded by her family and supporters, her mobility has deteriorated as she has grown. Her condition now requires her to use a wheelchair or walker, and she experiences near-constant pain.

Matilda's tight hamstrings have caused her knees to fracture spontaneously, and she walks with a crouch that affects her hips, back, and posture, leading to frequent falls and one leg becoming shorter than the other. To improve her quality of life, Matilda hopes to return to the US for PERCS (percutaneous release of muscles/tendons) surgery to lengthen her hamstrings.

Emma Brown’s Inspiring Challenge

Emma Brown, 44, a nurse with the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, is inspired to help Matilda, despite not knowing her personally. Emma’s 12-year-old son, Reuben, also has mild cerebral palsy, which gives her a personal connection to Matilda's struggle. Emma is determined to raise £500, and she is close to reaching her target, with any additional funds being a welcomed bonus.

Emma Brown said:

“I haven’t abseiled before and I don’t know Matilda. But a friend heard about the family fundraising and let me know as she thought I might like to give it a go – my son Reuben, who is 12, has mild cerebral palsy, so I can totally imagine how much Matilda will want this operation which could help her movement.”

How You Can Help

Matilda’s family, supported by the children’s charity Tree of Hope, aims to raise £25,000 for the surgery. The charity helps families fundraise for children and teenagers with healthcare needs that the NHS cannot provide, offering charity status to benefit from gift aid and corporate support.

Places are still available for the abseil at a cost of £200, with £100 going directly towards Matilda’s operation. If you would like to take part, please contact

Tree of Hope CEO Becky Andrew said:

“Seeing the community rally around Matilda and her family is truly inspiring. We hope the abseil goes well and wish the family all the best with their fundraising. We are here to support however we can.”

Support for Hartfield teen and supporter

Emma Brown’s courageous abseil is a beacon of hope for Matilda Kelly and her family. Your support can make a significant difference in helping Matilda regain her independence and enjoy her teenage years.

For more information or to donate to Matilda’s fund, visit Tree of Hope.

To sponsor Emma, visit JustGiving.