Thursday, 5 July 2012

Kendal to London by Kayak

Three old paddlers, David Oates, Trevor Hughes and Brian Wilson. Combined age 185, plan is to kayak from Kendal to London on the Inland Waterways over 16 days in October 2012 - a distance of 379 miles. We have been in training for the last 3 months regularly paddling on Windermere, over increasing distances and at ever higher speeds. We hope that our fitness levels will have risen, above that of couch potatoes, before the off.

Preparing for a training run.

We will be supported by a driver taking Brian’s camper van and towing a canoe trailer to meet us at the end of each day and to bring the kayaks and the weary paddlers home from London at the end of the trip.

Trevor and I are members of Kendal Rotary Club and we hope to raise sponsorship, through the Rotary Club’s charity account, to support two causes.

The first recipient is to be Sandgate Special School in Kendal and in particular the School’s Outdoor Education programme.  The School serves a huge area of South Lakeland and has some 60 children on roll all of whom have severe or profound learning difficulties.  The school recently gained accreditation as an “Adventure Learning School” and is nationally recognised as a leading school in special needs education through physical activity and adventurous pursuits.

A fine example is the annual week long Sea Kayaking trip in the Sound of Arisaig on Scotland’s West Coast.

Taking children with special needs on trips such as this is extremely expensive. There needs to be a high ratio of adults to pupils, equipment, for safety reasons, has to be of a very high quality and the accommodation needs to be suitable for the children. On the other hand the children benefit enormously from the challenging experience.  We are hoping to raise at least £3,000 to cover the cost of the sea kayaking trip next year – we would however like to raise substantially more! Much of the school’s outdoor equipment and clothing was donated some years ago and is now in urgent need of replacement.

The second nominated charity is to be Shelterbox, a charity originally set up by Rotarians in Cornwall and now an independent charity fundraising worldwide and providing immediate vital aid when disaster strikes anywhere. 

The ShelterBox solution in disaster response is as simple as it is effective. The charity delivers the essentials a family needs to survive in the immediate aftermath of a disaster.

Each large, green ShelterBox is           tailored to a disaster but typically contains a disaster relief tent for an extended family, blankets, water storage and filtration equipment, cooking utensils, a stove, a basic tool kit, a children’s activity pack and other vital items.

Please take a look at

Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi Organization (DTA) was founded in Jerusalem, by the late Ms. Hind Al-Husseini, the pioneer in voluntary work in Jerusalem. It is a charitable organization, formed to serve Palestinian orphans and needy children, providing them with good care, accommodation and education. The organization was formed after the massacre of Deir Yassin, a small village located nearby Jerusalem, in the year 1948. The Israeli gangs invaded the village, demolished its houses and killed most of its residents.

Some managed to survive - 55 children, whose parents and relatives were killed, escaped to the Old City of Jerusalem and were found traumatized near a wall between the Holy Sepulcher Church and Omar Mosque. Ms. Hind Al-Husseini sheltered them initially in two small rooms in a small market in the Old City .She then formed a society under the name of Dar Al-Tifel Al-Arabi, in its recent location, her old family home, as the number of these orphan and needy children increased day after day.

We often aspire to ‘ build the new Jerusalem in England’s green and pleasant land’. As Kendalians we thought what it would feel like if someone came and massacred the residents of the village of Staveley and the children were found wandering homeless and traumatized in the centre of Kendal! In supporting the existing orphans of Dar All Tifel who are now effectively cut off from the rest of Palestine by political boundaries, we can do something practical and meaningful to help .
Please take a look at


This centre caters for children with special needs including profoundly physically handicapped children whose mobility is very limited. It is run by a few dedicated staff and a team of volunteer professionals, both Omani and expatriate. The two two school physiotherapists, both of whom are volunteers, have identified the need for a pony walker and need to raise 1500 pounds sterling ( OR1000) for this piece of equipment. This team of volunteers is personally known to Brian.

Brian is hoping to raise funds towards the purchase of an item of equipment called a pony walker

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