Zip line challenge for Joanna

24th May 2018

Earlier this year, 14-year-old Denholm Yates decided to organise an exciting zip line challenge in memory of his big sister Joanna, who sadly died from meningitis


After seeing the zip line experience online, Den thought that Joanna would have loved it, and therefore it would be a fantastic challenge to do in Joanna's memory.

Den convinced his dad Ian, and a close family friend Lucy, to take on the challenge with him - after all, there’s safety in numbers!

The mile-long zip line runs over an old quarry in Wales, and brave participants can reach up to speeds of 125mph. Wendy, Den’s mum, said, “When we arrived we could see the zip line high up in the sky - Den, Lucy and Ian couldn't believe how high, long and fast it was!”

After being kitted out in safety gear, the fearless threesome completed a small zip line in preparation for the big challenge.

An army-style truck took them to the top of the quarry, where the team waited with both nerves and excitement. Wendy continued, “I felt excited for them and was amazed that they were willing to challenge themselves to this extent.”

“I felt very proud of them as I always am when people raise money in memory of Joanna. I feel they are keeping Joanna's memory alive whilst also raising money so that future generations do not have to suffer the devastating impact of this disease.”

All three members of the team completed the zip line and everyone felt elated. They all celebrated with fish and chips in Colwyn Bay, and talked about how much Joanna would have loved the day.

Den said, “I've done a lot of high ropes courses - but this was so much bigger and I felt very nervous when I reached the top of the quarry!”

“I was so glad I took the challenge to raise money in my sister’s memory. Joanna would have absolutely loved the zip line, she had no fear whatsoever.”

Joanna is always remembered as being fearless and had a wonderful sense of adventure. Wendy said, “She would have been so proud of Denholm walking in her adventurous footsteps.”

“It was Joanna's fearlessness that rubbed off on Denholm and made him able to challenge himself to complete activities like the fastest zip line in the world.”

A fantastic £700 was raised from the challenge, but Wendy and her family aren’t stopping with their fundraising efforts. A group of family and friends are taking part in the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, a 100-mile cycling event starting in central London, travelling through the Surrey hills and finishing at The Mall.

Elaine Close, Community Fundraiser at Meningitis Now, said, “I was so pleased to hear about Den taking part in the world’s fastest zip line in Wales, in memory of his much-loved big sister Joanna.”

“Congratulations to Den, Ian and Lucy for raising over £700 for Meningitis Now, which is amazing – thank you!”