Oarsome Thames River Challenge

The rowers of the 123 mile Thames River Challenge – a 6-day fundraiser for charity for Help for Heroes and Barchester's Charitable Foundation – crossed the finish line at Teddington Lock after setting off from Hunters care home in Cirencester, raising more than 12K.

Three Canadian-style canoes, seating two people, paddled 123 miles in aid of Help for Heroes and Barchester’s Charitable Foundation. The money raised by those taking part in the challenge will be divided between both charities to help fund future projects and the total is still set to grow.

The six-day event launched from Lechlade on Thames.  Different representatives from Barchester Healthcare and Help for Heroes took to the water like ducks and paddled their hearts out to raise as much money as possible. The Barchester team was made up of a cross-section of Barchester Healthcare multi-skilled workforce. The challenge finished at Teddington Lock and the party went on to Lynde House in Twickenham care home where staff, residents and the local community cheered the team for their amazing charitable feat. Another part of the challenge was to promote the Barchester Healthcare's apprenticeship scheme. Young apprentices from across the company, Skills for Care and representatives of the care provider’s Learning and Development team showed their support by “rowing to keep apprenticeships growing”. Support and supply companies that work with Barchester have also been asked to pledge places to young people looking for career opportunities.

Malcolm McDonald, the leader of the challenge and Maintenance Manager at Badgeworth Court care home, said: "This has been an epic journey. It hasn't all been plain sailing but we've enjoyed messing about on the river and growing the total that will go towards two brilliant charities. The Help for Heroes rowers have been cracking and through team spirit and a lot of oar strokes, we've made it!"