On Saturday 30th March, 8 teams took on and conquered Age UK Lancashire’s annual 25 mile Canoe Challenge, all to raise money for older people in the county.
Setting off bright and early from the picturesque surroundings of The Hand & Dagger Pub in Preston, the teams made good progress, taking advantage of the perfect weather conditions. Supported by a team of Age UK Lancashire staff and volunteers, who accompany the teams on foot, bikes and cars all the participants kept working hard to complete the distance.
With some participants travelling from as far as Wolverhampton and Cheshire to take part, this year’s challenge was a good mix of family teams, friends and work colleagues. The challenge aims to bring in around £4000 in donations for the charity, money which stays in Lancashire to fund many vital services the charity provide; including their Information and Advice service which helps people access welfare benefits and support with housing and social care.
Many of the teams had attended the free practice session a couple of weeks earlier to prepare themselves, which paid off as all the teams finished within 8 ½ hours. The team finishing fastest this year were the Cash brothers Jimmy and Jolan from Burnley, who did it in a very impressive 6 hrs 53 minutes.
The challenge finishes at the Water Witch Pub in Lancaster, who were kind enough to donate well-earned chip barmcake’s to all the participants and support crew. Each participant was also awarded with a medal to mark their fantastic achievement, presented by Age UK Lancashire Senior Management and Trustees.
David Ward, Promotions Manager from Age UK Lancashire said: “After the disappointment of last year’s challenge being called off due to bad weather, this year has been brilliant. All the teams did so well and I think everyone had fun. This challenge is mentally and physically demanding so having a good support crew is vital to keep everyone going. There are always tough moments for each team along the way but to finish in such a good time with smiles on their faces was great to see. We can’t thank the participants enough for being part of this and putting so much effort into raising money for us”.
As well as the support from the Hand & Dagger and Water Witch Pubs, Tesco in Leyland and Asda in Lancaster also helped by donating refreshments for the participants to have along the route to keep them energised.
David Ward added: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this event possible from the Canal & River Trust, Graham Wright for providing the canoes, equipment and his expertise, Tesco and Asda and both pubs at the start and finish. Not to mention the fantastic staff and volunteers who were part of the support crew. The biggest thank you goes to all of our participants who took on the challenge with such enthusiasm and everyone who donated in support of them”.
Age UK Lancashire hope to do the challenge again next year along with other fundraising activities so if anyone would like information they can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 0300 303 1234 to ensure they don’t miss out on the opportunity to join the event.
Age UK Lancashire is a local independent charity providing services and support to people aged 50 and over. All the money they raise stays in Lancashire. Information about the charity and its services can be found by visiting www.ageuklancs.org.uk or calling 0300 303 1234.