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Charity work


Since Julie and I established the River Wye Canoe Hire Company in August of 2008, we are quite often asked to donate canoe vouchers, our services and equipment to schools or individuals to raise money for charity.

Last year I was approached by Mark who is the licensee at the Man of Ross public house in Ross-on-Wye and a regular customer, to provide some canoes over the August bank holiday period as he and some of his locals could do a charity trip from Glasebury to Redbrook. The trip was a great success with allot of money raised.

This year I was asked by a good friend of mine John Johnson to assist on a charity trip to raise money for a seven year old girl with a brain tumour. Here is John and Brooke's story.

Approx. 3 months ago and I don't know why this special little girl’s story touched me the way it did? But it did and hopefully it will you in the same way. Brooke Phillips is a happy little 6 1/2 year old that doesn't see herself any different to other children her age however even though kids have a fairly black and white view on life, where no one is different whether it be colour or disability (who says adults are always right?) She is different in a pretty major way. Shortly after her 6th birthday Brooke was diagnosed with life changing brain cancer. Brooke has undergone many hours of chemotherapy and is now wheelchair bound. She is now having her last dose of super strong chemotherapy and if it doesn’t work she will have a life expectancy of 12 months but even with this devastating news/condition she continues to carry on regardless.

Fast forward to 4 weeks ago and I overheard a conversation that Jason Knight (Brooke's uncle) was having and he mentioned that they were saving up to send Brook to Disneyland Paris, me being me said “what do you want to do that for; the one in Florida is much better�. This is when Jay pointed out the cost implications. That made me start thinking what could we do to get her to the States? Someone mentioned me doing a sky dive (I think the parachute was optional!) I thought of something I think was even more nuts.

Take 6 ordinary unfit approaching middle age guys and take them kayaking down the river Wye for 100km in three days (armed forces do it in 2). This will take place on the 28/29/30th Sept allowing us 6 weeks training to get into shape and hopefully not kill ourselves. The team consists of Dan Bryant, Mark Johnston, Jay and Craig Knight and our very own channel manager from Vodafone Mr Aled “not the one off the Snowman" Jones. This is being made possible with the support, transport and equipment of a good friend of mine Mr Mark Simons of the River Wye Canoe Hire Company (please see details below for Mark sure he will be happy to take booking at a favourable rate for Wish employees) so I hear you ask why am I sending this email to you lovely generous people, I would like you all to get behind us and give a little to try and get us to our target of £6500? We are giving 3 days and probably blood sweat and a lot of tears so what can you give? What you'd spend on your lunch today or a packet of fags? .......

The guys actually managed to canoe for approx 11 hours a day from Glasebury to Symonds Yat covering distances of 28 miles day 1, 34 miles day 2 and 14 day three finishing at Ye Olde Ferrie Inn, Symonds Yat West, where Brooke was waiting for them. That evening Brooke, her family and friends and all the people who contributed towards the charity trip in any way had a great evening courtesy of Jamie the Landlord of Ye Olde Ferrie Inn. The guys raised, including a raffle on the evening, approx £6,000.

If this story touches you in the same way it has to us, then please visit the blog below and donate what you can. Pictured below is: Dan Bryant, Brooke, John Johnson, Jay and Craig Knight and Aled Jones.

In 2012 (we must be mad??) the guys pictured and myself are looking to attempt crossing the English Channel by Canadian canoe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Follow the progress on Facebook.

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