Kayaking challenge raises money for NHS

Cancer survivor Christian Smyth, alongside his son’s football team successfully raised a large sum through fundraising that will go towards the NHS. They raised over £5,500 for both the University Hospitals Dorset Paddling in inflatable kayaks, many of the boys Support charity by completing 40km of kayaking and running.

The cause

The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity

The University Hospitals Dorset NHS Charity is a combination of the efforts of the Poole Hospital Charity and the Bournemouth Hospital Charity, into one organisation. They have come together to improve the care and treatment of patients who need NHS services at both Poole, Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals. They aim to do this by fundraising to help enhance the hospital’s facilities, provide them with the state of the art equipment that they need; as well as supporting the hardworking NHS staff who need their health, wellbeing and development taken care of.

They are currently raising money for robotic tilt tables to help support patients who need effective and early rehabilitation.

PSC Support charity

PSC Support is the only UK based patient organisation that is solely dedicated to improving the lives of people who are affected by primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a disease that slowly progresses through the liver and the gallbladder. Those who have the condition have to cope with inflammation and possibly the scarring of their bile ducts.

PSC support help to provide those who suffer from the disease with the information and support that they need. They do this by working with healthcare providers to improve current clinical care, as well as shaping and funding critical research that aims to eradicate PSC.

Their kayaking challenge

The proud father mentioned that he was ‘blown away’ by the support him and the children received after completing their athletic achievement on Saturday, June 11th.

Christian kayaked in a grand circuit between the idyllic Tuckton Tea Gardens and the serene waters under the Iford Bridge, and would repeat this 5km loop eight times.

During this charity kayaking Christian was joined by 12 of the boys from the under eights football team that he coaches. Paddling in inflatable kayaks, many of the boys had their first experience kayaking; and to do it for such a great cause is a heartwarming thing.

The challenge took him and the boys around seven hours to complete, and along the way they received lots of support and encouragement throughout the day. As a group, Christian and the young footballers talked about strength, resilience and how the mind can be a powerful tool when you put it to a task. So it was an educational experience for the boys as well as a physical one!

Whilst the boys may have had some tired arms and legs during the challenge, they all found the strength to keep pushing forward and complete the kayaking challenge. It’s a great achievement for both a cancer survivor and a young group of boys. Hopefully it’s something they will cherish in the future.

You can still donate to Christian’s fundraiser and learn more about their efforts by visiting his page here.

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