A group of brave challengers took to the water recently, canoeing 25 miles from Preston to Lancaster, all in the name of charity. Local older people’s charity, Age UK Lancashire hosted their annual Canoe Challenge on Saturday 25th September to raise vital funds and awareness of their work across the county.
A total of 20 people took part in this team challenge and were delighted to complete the event, which had previously been postponed twice due to the covid pandemic.
David Ward from Age UK Lancashire said: “We couldn’t have asked for a more enthusiastic group of people or better conditions for this year’s challenge. They all did fantastic, and it was a really great day”.
Starting bright and early from the Hand & Dagger Pub near Preston, the 8 teams made their way up the scenic Lancaster canal for 25 miles, paddling through set checkpoints along the route, being cheered on and encouraged by the support crew, made up of Age UK Lancashire staff and volunteers.
The team finishing with the fastest time was David Butler and Simeon Tucker, who completed the course in an impressive 6 hours and 48 minutes. All the teams completed the event with smiles on their faces and enjoyed a well-deserved drink at the finishing point, The Waterwitch Pub in Lancaster.
David Ward of Age UK Lancashire added: “It was great to see people’s competitive nature come out and I think they had waited so long for this event to happen that they were raring to go. We even had a sprint finish involving 2 teams at the end. The event is all about endurance and completing it and is not a race, so everyone was in high spirits and encouraging each other all the way”.
Each participant is tasked with raising sponsorship money in order to participate and so far this year the event has raised an impressive £5,435. All of the money stays in Lancashire to directly support the work Age UK Lancashire do for older people, which includes helping people home from hospital, help around the house, plus dementia support and services to help people remain independent.
Last year alone the charity responded to 13,829 calls to their advice line and were able to provide practical support to people with a whole range of issues and advice. Age UK Lancashire is an independent local charity that relies on donations and fundraising and are always looking for people to support them.
They have a full calendar of fundraising events including an upcoming Fashion Show on Thursday 14th October at Mytton Fold Hotel near Whalley, with tickets available on their website: www.ageuklancs.org.uk and are also hosting a ‘Sleepout’ event on Friday 19th November at Clitheroe Football Club, where people will raise sponsorship and spend a night under the stars. Places will be made available from Monday 4th October with all the details also on their website and social media platforms.
David Ward added: “Our fundraising events play a really important role in generating income for us so I would encourage people to check out our website and socials to keep up to date with everything and get involved. The Canoe Challenge has been running for 6 years now and is still a fantastic event. Every team loved it this year and some even want to enter again when we do it in March next year! They must be suckers for punishment, but we can’t wait to do this again and hope to attract even more people to take the challenge on. We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who made this event possible including the participants, the support crew and the Canal & Rivers Trust who are always really supportive, and anyone who donated”.
For information on the services or opportunities Age UK Lancashire provide, visit www.ageuklancs.org.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0300 303 1234.