We support James, Mark and Matt paddling the length of the River Nene

Three Men in a Canoe: The Nene Challenge


My wife and I are raising money for The Sick Children’s Trust and the Children’s Acute Transport Service, two charities that supported us when one our twins, Iris, required intensive care at a month old in November 2016. Iris had apnoea as a result of bronchiolitis and due to ever increasing periods of ceased breathing Iris was put on a ventilator to breathe for her and was rushed to the Royal London hospital from Peterborough with the Children’s Acute Transport Service (CATS). CATS provide paediatric intensive care on the move and they provided much needed reassurance and hope at this time plus a much needed essentials bag with toothbrush! Whilst at the Royal London I was able to stay within walking distance of the hospital thanks to accommodation provided by The Sick Children’s Trust. My wife was in Peterborough hospital with our other twin who also had bronchiolitis. The Sick Children’s Trust provide a home from home for families of critically ill children so that they can remain close to the hospital. This provided some much needed normality at the end of each day and some other families to chat to in the communal areas.

Thanks to these wonderful charities and some amazing NHS staff Iris is here with us today so raising money for the charities is our way of saying thanks.

Justgiving pages have been set up, one for each of the charities with money raised being split equally between the two. Please see details below.

The challenge

  • 3 men
  • 3 days
  • 1 boat
  • 66 miles
  • 38 locks
  • Little or no river flow!

Myself and two friends Mark and Matt will paddle the River Nene from the start of the navigation in Northampton to its tidal limit in the Fens in just 3 days. At a distance of 66 miles (22 miles / day) with all 38 locks to traverse it’s a trip local canoe operators would suggest 9-10 days undertake so 3 days is a real challenge.

The vessel

A three man Canadian canoe kindly provided by local canoe operator Nene Extreme Adventures based in Oundle. Nene Extreme Adventures will drive the team to their start point and pick them up at the end.

The itinerary

Day 1 – The crew will start out in Northampton. Today the team will canoe 22 miles and navigate 18 locks. End near Ringstead.

Day 2 – The crew will start near Ringstead. Today the team will canoe 22 miles and navigate 12 locks before making camp in a field in Fotheringhay (free camping kindly provided by Castle Farm Camping, Fotheringhay).

Day 3 – The crew will start in Fotheringhay and canoe the final 22 miles before ending at the rivers tidal limit, the Dog in a Doublet lock.

How do I donate?

Thank you in advance for your donation. You will be helping babies and children like Iris and families like us. Donations can be made by cash, text message (all the money goes to charity) or online via just giving.

There are two text codes and two just giving pages, one for each of The Sick Children’s Trust and the Children’s Acute Transport Service. We would appreciate it if you could split your donations between the two equally. Don’t forget to gift aid too if you can. Many thanks.

Text IRIS64 £5 to 70070, and IRIS67 £5 to 70070. Donations via text can be for £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10.






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