MORE than 60 people abseiled down St Helens Hospital today, including 74-year-old Mayor of St Helens Pat Ireland, to raise funds for Whiston and St Helens Hospital's Charity.

Representatives from the council, The Steve Prescott Foundation and the St Helens Star and others took part in the event to help raise vital funds to update the hospital.

But the star of the day was definitely Mayor Pat Ireland, who braved the wall of the Lilac Centre in aid of the Diabetes Unit at St Helens Hospital.

Others who took part include Linzi Prescott and Martin Blondel from the Steve Prescott Foundation, councillors Lynne Clarke and Nova Charlton, St Helens Council chief executive Mike Palin, Star reporter Kelsey Maxwell, war veteran Andy Reid and former rugby league player Lee Briers.

St Helens Star:

St Helens Council chief executive Mike Palin, councillor Lynn Clarke, St Helens Star reporter Kelsey Maxwell and mayor Pat Ireland before their abseil

She said: "I'm a type one diabetic and this hospital saved me life.

I'm very old to be getting type one diabetes but the Diabetes clinic here told me how to live with it and they do some marvellous work."

After reaching the ground she added: "It was very wobbly at the beginning and the rolling over bit was dreadful.

"But it was fine, it was great. I bounced and that's all I wanted to do."

St Helens Star:

Pat finally got her walking stick back after she reached the ground following her abseil

The money raised, unless specified, will go towards the following areas of the hospital:

-Digital sky windows in the Lilac centre where patients receiving chemotherapy can lie down and instead of looking up at a hospital ceiling can have changing light views to help them during a stressful and anxious time.

- an updated children's waiting area with wall art, toys and seating.

- electronic pagers for patients in the Burney Breast Unit so that they can move away from the clinical areas when waiting for appointments, which aims to reduce anxiety and has already been a success at the Lilac Centre.

- entertainment systems for patients such as games consoles, music systems and iPads to help beat boredom at the Seddon Rehabilitation Unit.

- A newly decorated waiting room for the psychology services for patients who are living with the effects of long-term illness to help them feel safe and supported during counselling sessions.