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Wickes Launches 'Paddle The Thames' Challenge For YoungMinds


Home improvement business Wickes, has set a new challenge to help its fundraising efforts for YoungMinds, the retailer's current corporate charity partner. 12 colleagues, including members of Wickes Executive Team, have committed to a sponsored paddle along the River Thames with the aim to raise £50,000. 

Starting from Cricklade in Wiltshire on 4th July, the paddle will take the group of amateur canoeists five days to reach the finish line at Westminster Bridge. Supported by British Canoeing, the paddlers will be on the water for 10 hours a day to complete their challenge and have now started a dedicated training programme to ensure they’re prepared for the 180 mile journey. 

With £1.8m already raised thanks to activity from colleagues and customers, this five day challenge has been created to help Wickes hit its £2.5m target. Since 2020, Wickes has been raising awareness and money for YoungMinds through bike rides, bake sales and its ‘50p Ask’ initiatives, where customers can donate 50p at the till with their purchases. 

All money raised will fund YoungMinds’ work, in leading the fight for a future to ensure children and young people get the best possible mental health support and have the resilience to overcome life’s difficulties. 

Gary Kibble, Chief Marketing and Digital Officer at Wickes, commented: “We’ll be paddling 35 miles a day, ten hours a day, for five days at the beginning of July, and we’ll camp every night. It’ll be hardcore. Paddling is not my thing, but we’ve had some help from British Canoeing, who’ve taught us skills such as protage, which is when you carry the kayaks around the locks and given us exercises; it’s all about upper body strength and core” 

On why he’s taken on the challenge, Gary continues: “The pandemic has materially impacted all of us but particularly the younger generation, therefore I want to make a difference to those who need it. Additionally, I love taking on physical challenges and stretching my beliefs with regards to what is possible”. 

Did you know?

  • One in four children show some evidence of mental ill health
  • Half of all mental health problems appear before the age of 14, with one in four enduring mental health conditions present by the age of 24 
  • Three in four children with a diagnosable mental health consider do not get access to the support they need  

To donate to Wickes’ latest fundraising campaign, please click here

Source : Wickes 

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21 April 2022

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