AN OAR-SOME effort by fund-raisers has seen more than £11,000 donated to Heart of England Mencap.
The charity – which supports those with learning disabilities – took to the River Avon to paddle more than seven miles from Wasperton to Stratford in home-made rafts.
This July hailed the 40th anniversary of the raft race, which attracted nearly 55 teams.
The money raised will be used to buy specialist bikes – enabling those with learning disabilities to get out and experience the joys of cycling.
The charity already has three of the adapted trikes – which costs thousands of pounds each – but are ‘delighted’ they will be able to buy more.
Fund-raising manager Cath Errington said: “The ultimate dream is a dedicated track, with storage on site plus parking, toilets and refreshment facilities.
“Thanks to our joint organisers the Wellesbourne and District and Shakespeare Lions Clubs Lions and to everyone who took part in this year’s race, we are now within reach of that dream and in discussions as to a potential location.
“We will also be able to purchase those new bikes our customers had their hearts set on. A hand cycle will enable people in a wheelchair but with strength in their arms to experience the joy of cycling. A side by side bike will allow a worker to ride with a customer, meaning that even those who don’t have much physical strength can still benefit from the experience.
“We are a small charity – and this amount of money will make a very real difference to us and to local lives.”