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Keen sailors line up for transatlantic adventure
1:00pm Monday 30th September 2013 in Chard
THE organisers of an ambitious sailing challenge to raise money for one of Somerset’s most popular charities say they have been pleased with the interest shown in the venture.
The Challenge of a Lifetime in aid of St Margaret’s Somerset Hospice will see 160 brave members of the public face up to 88 difficult and exciting days sailing across the Atlantic Ocean.
So far, over 30 people have expressed an interest and half-adozen people have already signed up for the challenge in 2014- 15 with one entrant all the way from Cumbria.
Jon Andrewes, chief executive of St Margaret’s, told the News: “The reality is that it has been a difficult time for charities during this period of austerity.
“We’ve seen some interest wane in some of our more traditional fundraising, but what we noticed was that people seemed keen to help on our more unusual fundraising events.”
One example has been the treks St Margaret’s, which has hospices in Taunton and Yeovil, has organised to the Far East.
Mr Andrewes said: “Because we were offering a challenge to people it made it very appealing.
“Not only were they helping to raise money for us, but they were getting something back.
“We already have lots of people interested in the first leg of the journey and the ocean legs.”
As well as members of the public, the hos-pice is aiming to recruit eight people who have been diagnosed with a life-limiting illness to take part in one of the legs along-side their carer or clinician, and already, two have expressed interest.
Even Mr Andrewes will be taking part, skippering for half the challenge. He said: “I still need to do my day job, but I did ask if I could just work from the boat instead!”
Volunteers are still needed to sail, and help with planning and fundraising.
Anyone aged 18 and over can take part in the challenge and no sailing experience is necessary. For more information about the challenge see www.challenge ofalifetime.org.uk or call 0845-0342188.
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