What can bring an English teacher, a beach manager, a writer and a special school teacher together? Friendship, the desire to help charities, a passion for rowing and a boat. A 29 year-old surfing boat made in Australia, shipped to Ireland and finally brought to Bournemouth. It is in this vessel that a group of friends decide to join an adventure.
Ellis Hagger, Steen Stones, Mark Green and Sean Leddy have decided to help two charities based in Bournemouth, the Wessex Cancer Trust and the Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund in quite a unique way. The challenge is to row around Britain raising money and awareness for the cause.
The expedition will begin on the 2nd of May in the Boscombe Pier. According to Hagger, the group is planning to row 30 miles a day, which would take them around three and a half months to complete the route.
Rowing during the day and sleeping in cities at night, the group of friends will have a support van from the charities in each city they stop. “We are going to walk around town in speedos, stop in local supermarkets and raise awareness and money for the two charities”, explains Hagger.
The Royal Marines Charitable Trust Fund was initially chosen by Stones, because he was one of Afghanistan’s veterans, so he has a close relationship with the charity. “I saw first hand how they helped a number of my friends, and helped them get back to their lives”, says Steen. He also explains that the Royal Marines supported the families of some friends who didn’t make it back.
“Some of my friends have got very seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq, so they are not able to do this and I have the opportunity, so I just wanted to seize it now, to live life to the full and don’t let it pass me by”, says Steen.
Green says he relates more to the Wessex Cancer Trust. “My mom’s a breast cancer survivor, my uncle had kidney cancer and he’s a survivor and my grandma has just been diagnosed with skin cancer. So it’s pretty close to my heart,” says Green. He also mentions that the help from his parents and wife are very important to him, especially with the cancer initiative to the project.
With all the support from friends and family, the goal is to reach £100,000 in donations. Steen says both charities are related to issues that “affect everybody in some way”. The project is also aiming to encourage people to donate their time for the cause. According to Leddy, “it is not only about the money, but also about what people can bring to it”.
People are encouraged to check their Facebook page to be aware of coming up events, participate and contact them for any further information on how to help.