Seven kayaks set off on a route down the River Thames through the heart of London as The Change Foundation (TCF) joined fellow charity Olly’s Future in a combined fundraising venture.
A total of 4,000 pounds was raised to be shared equally with Olly’s Future, which raises awareness about suicide among young people and works to help those at risk.
The boats set off from Greenwich and the flotilla padded under Tower Bridge, past the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament, before coming ashore at Battersea, a distance of around 20km and a time of just over three hours.
The day started over coffee at a riverside café where TCF’s Elle Rowley and Olly’s Future founder Ann Feloy explained the aims and purposes of the two charities, with both distributing ‘emergency rations’ of chocolate, water, and orange juice.
Experts from the London Kayak Company, who accompanied the charity paddlers along the river, then took over ensuring all boats were properly fitted out and life jackets in place.
The sun came out just as the paddlers took to the water, on a day that had been largely overcast and even threated rain.
Ian Kamau, of New World Tech, took part in the event.
He said: ‘In the beginning I found it quite difficult. I couldn’t really work out how to paddle properly. But then I got into a rhythm and it became a lot easier.’
Chief Operating Officer of New World Tech is Keiron Lawler, who explained why his company backed TCF.
‘The aims of the charity closely match our core values, Which aim to help those from a disadvantaged background develop careers in the technology industry and making sure the level of opportunity is there for them,” he said.
“So our goals and those of TCF are very much aligned.’
Written by Nick Ames.