MORE than 170 runners climbed all 36 floors of London’s Walkie Talkie skyscraper to help people with a learning disability get into work.
Runners scooted up the 828 steps of the landmark, otherwise known as 20 Fenchurch Street, to reach the exclusive Sky Garden, Europe’s highest roof garden, where they were rewarded with a glass of bubbly and music from Islington Social Crew, a group of DJs with a learning disability.
Over £40,000 is expected to have been raised with all proceeds going to learning disability charity Mencap.
Paddy Griffiths, head of corporate partnerships at Mencap, said: “Running up 828 steps definitely isn’t an easy task and there were some tired legs out there. We can’t thank enough everyone who took on this challenge and for the generous amounts people have raised in the lead up.
“Climbing the 20 Fenchurch Street is a huge feat but nothing compared to some of the challenges people with a learning disability face on a daily basis.
“All of the money that has been raised will go towards helping to improve the lives of the 1.4 million people with a learning disability in the UK, and with the generous support of Land Securities, will help more people with a learning disability get into the world of work.”
Mencap hosted the event as part of its official charity partnership with Land Securities, who own 20 Fenchurch Street. The two are working together to improve employment opportunities for people with a learning disability.
Fun facts about 20 Fenchurch Street
- At 160 metres to the top of the roof, 20 Fenchurch Street is more than 50 metres taller than NASA’s Saturn 5 rocket – the largest rocket ever constructed!
- The building has 690,000 square feet of space – the equivalent in size to 100 Wembley football pitches
- Known affectionately as the ‘Walkie Talkie’ due to its distinct shape, which was conceived by the Uruguayan architect Rafael Vinoly, construction of the building began in 2010 and the first tenants moved in in May 2014.
- Around 28,000 cubic metres of concrete has been used in the construction of 20 Fenchurch Street – enough to fill 11.2 Olympic size swimming pools
- There are 38 floors, not including the ground floor, and the top three floors all cater for diners. Level 35 has a food bar serving drinks and light food, themed with the seasons, level 36 has a chic all-day British brasserie, and there’s a refined seafood bar and grill on Level 37 – all managed by the food catering company Rhubarb.
- Around 13,000 tonnes of steel have been used in building the tower – the same weight as 8,300 small cars
- There are 14 double deck eco-friendly lifts in 20 Fenchurch Street and it takes 30 seconds to get from ground level to the roof garden at a speed of around 6 metres a second – an ear popping 13 miles per hour