Age UK's Canoe Challenge

Participants took to the Lancaster canal to complete the Age UK Lancashire 25 miles Canoe Challenge
Participants took to the Lancaster canal to complete the Age UK Lancashire 25 miles Canoe Challenge

Brave participants took to the Lancaster canal to complete the Age UK Lancashire 25 miles Canoe Challenge, all to raise money to support vulnerable older people.

Brave participants took to the Lancaster canal to complete the Age UK Lancashire 25 miles Canoe Challenge, all to raise money to support vulnerable older people.

Harley Bainbridge and Chris Cottam

Harley Bainbridge and Chris Cottam

The challenge began at 8am from the Hand and Dagger pub in Preston with participants making their way up the canal through Garstang, finishing at the Waterwitch pub in Lancaster.

The route was 25 miles long and had designated checkpoints along the way, with volunteer support crew there to ensure everyone is safe and well. The first team crossed the line in six hours 36 minutes. The last canoe over the line finished in nine hours 10 minutes.

David Ward, fund-raising manager for Age UK Lancashire, said: “This event is in its third year and has been the biggest one yet. We had 13 canoes in total with 32 people taking part, some in pairs and others as part of larger relay teams. Despite the poor weather conditions everyone got over the line and has really enjoyed the day.

“This challenge wouldn’t be possible without the support of volunteer Graham Wright who supplies the canoes and gives his time free of charge, and both the Hand and Dagger and Waterwitch pubs that were very welcoming letting us use their facilities.

Husband and wife teams: Amy Halstead, Tom Halstead, John Ralphs and Heather Ralphs

Husband and wife teams: Amy Halstead, Tom Halstead, John Ralphs and Heather Ralphs

“We would like to especially thank the team at the Waterwitch for providing each of the participants with a free chip barmcake at the end. It was definitely much appreciated by our very tired and hungry group.

“Also Tesco in Buckshaw Village for providing energy drinks for everyone. Not only does this event raise us a fantastic amount of money through sponsorship but it’s great to have the support from local organisations and volunteers.”

The charity is hoping to raise more than £4,500 from the day with the money being used to support unfunded services such as information and advice and community groups.

David Ward added: “We will be looking to do this event next year as it is growing in popularity.

“We had a waiting list this year which shows people want to take part in the special occasion and support our charity. It really does make a difference to us and all the money stays in Lancashire to support the most vulnerable people. We’d like to thank all of the participants, support crew and organisations who have been involved in making this such a great event.”

Age UK Lancashire provides services and support for people across the county.

Information about fund-raising events, service and support can be found by calling 0300 303 1234 or visiting http://www.ageuklancs.org.uk.

For a previous story on the launch click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/canoe-challenge-for-age-uk-lancashire-1-7721501