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Swindon businessmen to row Thames in support of NSPCC

A fundraising group made up of Swindon businessmen is looking to raise £15,000 for the NSPCC by rowing the River Thames, 14 years after completing the same challenge in aid of the children’s charity.

Swindon Business Cares for Children launched its silver appeal this year as it celebrates the charity’s 25th anniversary of being in the town.

Throughout 2019 the group will be raising money for the Swindon service centre, with an overall target of £25,000 and has already raised £4,000 towards the total through other events this year.

This year, Chairman Alan Fletcher and his team are attempting to replicate the Thames challenge after initially completing the task in 2005, when they raised over £17,000.

Four of the participants featured in the original challenge, with family members filling in where required.

Alan will be rowing alongside Peter Mapson, Michael Shirley, Hugh Ellins, Paul Fletcher, Sowande Coker and Warren Nienaber for the 124-mile journey from Lechlade to Teddington.

The challenge is expected to take the team three days starting on Saturday 24 August.

Swindon Business Cares for Children member Michael Shirley said: “The challenge is going to be very different to the one we did in 2005 because rowing has moved on a bit since then.

“Preparation for the challenge has already started, and we are training in and out of the water to make sure we are ready for August.

“As a team, we want to raise as much money as we can for the centre, because they carry out such phenomenal work.”

Community Fundraising Manager for Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire Caroline Morgan said: “This is an inspirational story and I hope everyone supports this team in their incredible efforts.

“We are so lucky to have caring people such as the Swindon Business Cares for Children who continue to give so much to NSPCC.

“As 90% of our income is through voluntary donation our work could not continue if people didn’t fundraise.

“Please support them and help them complete this very difficult challenge and help more children.”

The Swindon Service Centre, which is based in Old Town, runs NSPCC programmes such as DART, Pregnancy in Mind and Letting the Future in.

DART is a programme that looks to rebuild relations between a mother and her child after experiencing domestic abuse.

Pregnancy in Mind supports parents who are at risk of or experiencing mild to moderate anxiety and depression during pregnancy, while Letting the Future in supports children who have suffered sexual abuse.

If you would like to learn more about the challenge visit their fundraising page.

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