Employees from Lewes row down the River Thames for charity

Picture By Nigel Bowles Power Networks Ahoy rowing challenge from Chelsea to Deptford SUS-180726-085212001
Picture By Nigel Bowles Power Networks Ahoy rowing challenge from Chelsea to Deptford SUS-180726-085212001

Employees from Lewes have rowed the River Thames raising more than £10,000 for vulnerable children.

Eleven intrepid, and very inexperienced, rowers from UK Power Networks in Lewes, have spent the past months, weeks and in some cases, only days, training in search of their sea legs.

Their hard work was in preparation to take on the Ahoy Meridian Pull Row challenge this week.

Their goal was to raise as much money for Ahoy Centre children’s charity as possible.

James Dennis, one of the team captains from Lewes, said: “The opportunity to do something for such a worthy charity was a no-brainer, even after we realised it was an eight point five mile row. “We have a good team where we work and it was great to get such a positive response in people signing up.

“We all put in the effort to train leading up to the event, which was more difficult for some, but we made it.

“The training we took part in at The Ahoy Centre was second to none, and our trainer was fantastic in helping us find our strength and our rhythm.

“It was real challenge and we thoroughly enjoyed it.”

The race itself went better than the team could have imagined, finishing in second place out of the eight teams taking part.

The Lewes team’s finish time of 57 minutes to row the eight point five miles was beaten by only three minutes to take first position.

Mr Dennis said: “The day itself went better than we could’ve hoped.

“We all pushed ourselves hard, some of us even lost some skin on our hands.

“Our cox was brilliant and kept us motivated.

“But ultimately, receiving the medal and hearing the stories about some of the people the money we raised would go on to help, really brought it home for us.

“It made us very proud to take part and raise money for the charity.”

The staff who help keep the lights on in London, the East and the South East have dedicated their free time to getting to grips with fitness regimes and the challenge of synchronised rowing.

The imaginative team names included The Hairy Ginger Rowers, The Big Guns, Oar We There Yet, Buoy, Oh Buoy, Captain Red Beard and His Merry Men, Rowsilent and Procoar.

The money raised will enable the Ahoy Centre to deliver life-changing training, courses and programmes to both vulnerable, disadvantaged or disabled young people who need help and to be given an opportunity.

Donations can be made by visiting BT My Donate and then searching by team name.