Watch daredevils zipwire across the Thames raising £1m for charity

Evelina London Children's Hospital fundraising

Daredevil fundraisers have taken part in the first ever zipwire across the River Thames - raising more than £1 million for charity.

Twenty thrillseekers hurtled at speeds of up to 40mph while suspended 52 metres (170ft) above the capital in aid of the Evelina London Children's Hospital.

They flew 460m (1,500ft) from the roof of St Thomas' Hospital on London's South Bank across the river to Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the Houses of Parliament.

The fundraisers - who had to raise at least £50,000 to take part - came from all walks of life and included 21-year-old model Rosie Tapner.

"It was far more fun than I thought it would be, actually. It was an incredible experience - huge thanks to the London Fire Brigade," she said.

(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

"Literally as I finished all these emails came in so I'm now up to about £46,000, so that's great and I'm hoping to go beyond £50,000 - I don't really want to stop at £50,000 - I want to keep going because it's such an incredible cause."

The model, who is currently studying at Oxford Brookes, said she was motivated by her family's experience of children's healthcare and hoped the money would help Evelina "develop and grow".

The one-day event was organised in partnership with the London Fire Brigade (LFB) as part of its 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

(Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Firefighters worked through the night building the zipwire, which showcases the brigade's advanced rope rescue capability, which enables them to access a casualty in almost any location.

Andy Roe, LFB's deputy assistant commissioner, conjured up the stunt while sitting at his son Zaki's bedside in the Evelina hospital.

Zaki, now aged nine, was diagnosed with viral encephalitis - a potentially deadly inflammation of the brain - in 2013, but his condition has gradually improved since.

(Kirsty O'Connor/PA)

Roe said: "My son Zaki was treated by the Evelina for a serious brain condition and every time we used to come to the hospital we used to look across the river and think: wouldn't it be great if we ran a zip line from the roof to the other side?

"I suppose for a lot of people that would be an abstract thought because you're not going to do it but I've got the privileged position of being part of the London Fire Brigade that can enable that."

The opportunity to realise his idea came when the LFB was looking for ways to celebrate its 150th anniversary this year.

(Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He said it was a "fantastic feeling" to fly at 40mph through the air, but said it was "extremely challenging" logistically to set up.

Evelina, which is part of Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, treats around 55,000 children a year but is in need of a dedicated clinical research facility.

The money raised will go towards the new facility - enabling the hospital to grow its clinical trials and research programmes.

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