Team ‘Tower to Tower’ completes 450 Nautical Mile Row from London to Paris. They raised over £250k for the charity to date surpassing the target of £90K…. Asian Lite News
The Tower to Tower Team, including West Bromwich Albion Boss, Tony Pulis, Comedians Nick Hancock and Hugh Dennis, and Olympic Rower, Debbie Flood, were raising funds for The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice – a charity based in Stoke-on-Trent providing specialist care and support to children with shortened life expectancy and their families.
Originally hoping to raise £90k to fund the work of two nurses at the Hospice, the challenge captured the imagination of the general public, attracting unprecedented levels of donations. The team has raised over £250k for the charity to date which will go towards the £3million it costs each year to run the service for more than 200 children and their families.
Talking at the end of the gruelling challenge, Entrepreneur and “Secret Millionaire”, Mo Chaudry said: “Without doubt lack of sleep was the worst part of the Tower to Tower experience. The sleeping arrangements were very compact but when you are tired it is amazing, you can sleep anywhere any place.
“When we initially started the challenge, the 2 hours on, 2 hours off shift pattern was incredibly hard at but after a few days the body had got used to it. I’m not sure though how much longer we could have coped.
“After about 40 hours, whilst still in the middle of the channel, I felt I had reached my limit. I had been vomiting through sea sickness for a good portion of this time and had not eaten either. I really had to dig deep mentally not to break down. Thankfully I got over it. Things became less difficult once the sea sickness was overcome. In an odd way it became enjoyable as we got in to a routine. The thought of the Eiffel Tower and getting over the line was a big motivator plus all the money we needed to raise for a great cause.
“My favourite lasting memory had to be our first rowing session on the Friday morning. I was a man possessed and we had a brilliant 2 hour row. I had got over the worst of what the sea had to throw at me and of course was fixed on getting over the finishing line. “
The rowers were also aiming to raise awareness of the challenges of sleep deprivation – a reality for so many of the families the charity supports.
Melanie Williams, Head of High Value Partnerships at the Hospice, and also one of the rowers, said: “Many of the children supported by the Hospice have very complex needs and a full night’s sleep is simply not possible for their parents and carers.
“We were rowing for 2hrs then resting for 2hrs, constantly for 7 days, managing to catch just a few minutes sleep on each 2hr rotation, which was exhausting. We would be woken up at the end of our 2hr off-shift and made to get back in the rowing boat and row, sometimes in very rough seas, for 2hrs whilst struggling with blisters and aching muscles.
“It was extremely tough, but we were all very aware of the reason we were doing this, and we knew that after 7 days, we would be able to get a full night’s sleep again – something that so many of our families don’t get.
“That’s one of the reasons why the Donna Louise is so important to families, offering them respite breaks so they can get some sleep and a chance to recharge their batteries.”