Daredevil Higham Ferrers teenager to take in abseil challenge in memory of 'cool' sister

The 14-year-old is raising money for a national charity Papyrus - the national charity for the prevention of young suicide

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:16 am
Updated Thursday, 24th June 2021, 10:30 am

A Higham Ferrers teenager will take on an extreme abseiling challenge to raise money for charity that is close to his heart after the death of his sister.

Adventurous 14-year-old Michael Parker, who loves thrill rides at theme parks, will descend 127.5 m (418 ft) down The National Lift Tower, the largest abseil tower in the world.

Raising money for Papyrus - the national charity for the prevention of young suicide - Michael will be cheered on by his family as he makes the descent.

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Michael will take on the LIft Tower abseil in memory of his sister Lauren (inset)
Michael will take on the LIft Tower abseil in memory of his sister Lauren (inset)

Michael comes from a family of daredevils with family members serving in the armed forces and it's his ambition to follow in their footsteps.

Mum Louise Parker said: "He's been an adrenaline junkie since he was tiny, He is very adventurous and loves Thorpe Park but he's never been as high as the Lift Tower."

25-year-old Lauren took her own life on New Year's Day and brother Michael wants to raise money to help provide services to try to prevent further deaths.

He said: "I am trying to raise money for Papyrus because this charity is close to my heart and my family. I am taking on this challenge in memory of my sister Lauren who sadly passed away.

Michael and sister Lauren

"The charity helps support people who call their helpline and if anything this tragedy has shown me the its the true importance of talking and sharing your feelings with family and friends. However, not everybody has someone to talk too or feel uncomfortable talking to people close to them."

As well as the abseil fundraiser Louise, Michael and his brothers and sister plan to plant a tree in Lauren's memory at Stanwick Lakes, a place she loved.

Step-mum to Lauren, Louise said: "Lauren was a 'cool sister', They felt they could confide in her. She was bubbly and vivacious and the life and soul of the party. She was a bit of a wild cat and her ambition was to go travelling."

The tragic death of Lauren came just two years after dad Neil Parker died suddenly from a heart attack. The children also lost three of their grandparents.

Lauren with the family at Stanwick Lakes

Louise added: "It's a lot for anybody to deal with. The boys play rugby for Old Northamptonians and we have had a great deal of support from the club and Ferrers Academy.

"We are very pleased that he is doing this abseil but I'm not doing it as well. I'll be watching."

So far his donations page has reached £671 already raising more than double his original target.

Michael added: "Thank you for all your support. There are still a few months to go so we are hoping to smash the target. We keep driving past the tower and I'm thinking 'Wow, that's high' but I'm determined to do it. Once again, thanks for all the support."


To donate to Michael's abseil fundraiser, that takes place on August 14, go to his Just Giving page by clicking here, All donations will go to Papyrus' HOPELINEUK.

HOPELINEUK is a confidential support and advice service for children and young people under the age of 35 who are at risk of suicide, or anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about taking their own life. CLICK HERE FOR HELP or call 0800 068 4141.

Samartians provides emotional support to anyone in emotional distress, struggling to cope, or at risk of suicide throughout Great Britain and Ireland. Call 116 123 to speak to a Samaritan or click here for other ways to contact them.