Saturday, 26 September 2020

Five paddlers raise £8,000 for accessible boat charity

Five paddlers raise £8,000 for accessible boat charity

MORE than £8,000 has been raised for the Rivertime Boat Trust by five paddlers.

The team paddled 200km down the Thames from Lechlade to Teddington over six days, passing through Goring, Shiplake and Henley on the way.

Two people were each in a pair of canoes and the fifth person was on a paddleboard but their progress was hampered at times by heavy rain. The paddlers camped each night.

The team was led by skipper Lucy Herbert who lives on a houseboat called Waikato near Beale Park and is the bookings manager for the trust, which operates an accessible cruiser, Rivertime, on the Thames offering trips to disabled people.

The annual maintenance of Rivertime has just been completed but all trips have had to be cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Miss Herbert, who had the idea of the challenge while she was stranded on her barge during the lockdown, was joined by crew volunteers Amy Etherington, Deanne Burkimsher and Peter Elliott and her 15-year-old godson Oliver Summerland.

She said: “It was an absolute privilege to take on this beautiful journey and spread awareness of the benefits Rivertime can bring.

“We would like to thank everyone for your passion and enthusiasm in supporting our journey — we couldn’t have done it without you.

“The money will enable us to get going again in 2021 and help subsidise trips and learning activities for children that join us on board. The boat is not designed for social distancing but when we start back up again in April we hope to get more children on board to enjoy our activities.”

The trust was founded by Simon and Pat Davis in 2006 and Rivertime was launched at the River & Rowing Museum in Mill Meadows in Henley in June 2008.

Since then it has carried 26,000 disabled passengers and benefited from 10,000 volunteer hours.

To make a donation, visit

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