Paddling the Thames ... from the source to the sea

Journey's end ... from left, Andy Ball, Nigel Dowsing, Marc Isaacs and James Muil
Journey's end ... from left, Andy Ball, Nigel Dowsing, Marc Isaacs and James Muil

Intrepid Brighton man Marc Isaacs, together with three friends, has paddled the whole length of the River Thames for a good cause.

Together with Nigel Dowsing from Lewes, James Muil from East Grinstead and Andy Ball from Henley-on-Thames, Marc set out to raise at least £1,000 so that underprivileged children in north eastern Ghana can have at least a primary school education.

They began in their kayaks at the source of the Thames near Lechlade in Gloucestershire on June 16 and, despite energy-sapping hot weather, completed their 215 miles multi-marathon to the sea eight days later, as planned.

Previously the four adventurers have risen to other challenges to raise funds for good causes.

They have cycled from Lands End to John O’Groats and from Devon to Brighton, trekked the South Downs Way non-stop, mountain biked it, run the London Marathon, and climbed Mount Kilimanjaro.

The foursome said of their latest challenge: “In Ghana, children can only have an education if their parents can afford to pay for school uniforms and basic equipment.

“If their parents cannot afford this, the children face a childhood of breaking stones, chopping wood and minding livestock. Not having an education. Something we take for granted. It costs about £50 per child to start their education. The money donated in sponsorship on our Crowdfunding page will be passed onto Lovey Foundation (UK). They buy the uniforms and equipment and send them, via the Lovey Foundation in Ghana, to the children that need their help.”

Lovey Foundation (UK) was set up in Brighton in March 2016. Its Chair, Melvyn Walmsley from Haywards Heath, said: “When our Secretary, Dr Yaa Asare from Brighton, was lecturing in Ghana in 2013 she met Thomas Lateef Aruk, an enterprising student from Bawku Municipal Province in the Upper East Region, where many children of subsistence farmers have to work as labourers instead of going to school.

“Yaa did the research which helped Thomas to launched the Lovey Foundation there to change that. Since 2013 it has been successfully breaking down social, economic and cultural barriers that keep children from school. In fact by this September our UK fundraising efforts will have placed 147 boys and girls in rural primary schools in Bawku. Already a few have progressed to secondary school.”

To sponsor Nigel and his friends, go to www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kayakingthethames or, to donate by cheque or bank transfer (quoting payment ref: K2018), visit www.loveyfoundation.org