Littlehampton woman faces fears to support her mum with terminal cancer

A teacher from Littlehampton is prepared to face her fear of heights and abseil down the Spinnaker Tower to raise money for St Barnabas House, as a thank you for the care the Worthing hospice is giving her mother.

Monday, 3rd February 2020, 5:17 pm

Hannah Silverson, 42, admits she feels ‘extremely nervous’ as she is terrified of heights but she is willing to take on the 320ft challenge in honour of her brave mother Jean Young, also from Littlehampton.

Hannah said: “I am going to try to conquer my fear of heights for St Barnabas House and for my mum because I love her so much. It’s incredibly daunting but when it’s for someone and something so important, you have to step up and try your best.”

Jean was referred to St Barnabas House in September, shortly after receiving the devasting news that she had terminal cancer.

Hannah Silverson, right, with her mother Jean Young

Hannah said: “I’m so proud of my mum. She has dealt with her illness with such grace, strength and positivity.

“Imagine seeing someone you love so much look and feel so poorly. You don’t know why they feel so ill but you really want to help them. Then imagine being told they have cancer. You feel devastated.

“Then you get told that the cancer they have can’t be cured. Well, your heart is breaking but you have to keep strong. That’s what I am doing. I am keeping strong for my beautiful mum. She is the most amazing person and I love my mum so, so, so much.

“It is so hard seeing someone you love, look and feel so poorly. My heart broke when we got told the news that the cancer couldn’t be cured but I have to keep strong.

“Since the diagnosis, St Barnabas have been fantastic with all their support, not just for Mum, but for our family, too. We all know that if we need anything, they will be there for us. We don’t feel like we are tackling this alone.”

The abseil is due to take place on Sunday, March 29, and Hannah has so far raised £1,665, having received donations and an outpouring of kind messages from friends and family.

Hannah had initially asked her friends if they thought £250 was an achievable target and in ust over 48 hours, she had smashed the target, so she upped her hopes to £1,000 for St Barnabas.

She said: “I keep Mum and Dad updated regularly and the support so far has blown them away. Mum would like to thank each and every one of you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so, so much.”

Supporters have said Hannah has ‘given the family a boost and put a smile on our faces’.

Jean says she is very proud of her ‘wonderful, caring, supportive and brave’ daughter.

She added: “When Hannah told me about her challenge, I thought wow! Then, I remembered that she dislikes heights and I began to worry a bit.

“However, she assures me that although she will be afraid, she is doing it in support of me and my situation. We will be sure to support each other.

“The care that I have received from St Barnabas House has been excellent. I hope the charity continues to get a lot of support in raising funds, allowing more people like me to benefit from its good work.”

To make a donation, visit