Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC) has “taken on The Thames” in a 20km rowing challenge to raise money for its own charity, alongside the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The sixteen rowers charted a course from Hammersmith Bridge to Westminster and back, to raise awareness for the work carried out by both charities on the water.
FRBC offers rowing to a cross-section of the community, helping 2,000 people a year access the Thames.
It gives state school pupils the opportunity to learn to row, provides junior community summer courses for kids on free school meals, and helps reduce the re-offending rate of serving prisoners through rowing.
The funds raised will also go towards a new facility for crews operating at Tower Lifeboats, the Westminster-based station of the RNLI, which provides vital emergency services on the river.
It is the busiest station in the UK, operates around the clock and has rescued 1889 people since 2002.
FRBC chair Steven O’Connor said: “The safety of our participants and team is always the number one priority and everyone on the Thames is amazingly lucky to have two RNLI lifeboat stations watching out for us, 24/7. It’s a pleasure to be able to complete this challenge and help raise some funds to support the RNLI’s work on the Thames.”
Tower Station manager Kevin Maynard added: “This is a fantastic event to raise money for our new station at Tower and we really appreciate the efforts of all the rowers who are taking part. It’s great to see Fulham Reach Boat Club widening access to rowing. It’s good for us as well as those young people are learning about water safety and can help us to spread that important message.”