This week, Chris Walkden, General Manager of Bidfood’s Slough and Basingstoke depots, teamed up with friend of 20 years, Duncan Marsh, to take on the challenge of kayaking over 20 miles across the English Channel.
The pair chose to take on this gruelling activity to raise money for Treloar’s Trust, The Molly McLaren Foundation, and the Tyler Reader Brighter Future Fund, charities close to both their hearts. In total, raising approximately £4,000 to donate to the worthy causes.
Chris and Duncan tirelessly kayaked for over six hours across 21 miles from Rye in East Sussex, UK to Boulogne in France, passing through the Dover Strait. This was no mean feat, as the Dover Strait is the world’s busiest shipping lane, with over 500-600 ships a day passing through between the UK and France.
Treloar’s Trust is a registered charity that is at the forefront of education, providing a range of facilities, from therapy and medical support, to helping young people aged between 2-25 with severe physical disabilities from all over the UK and overseas.
Chris Walkden talking about the challenge said: “I am extremely proud to be raising money for a charity as worthy as Treloar’s Trust. It is a remarkable and life changing place that dedicates its time to looking after over 170 people struggling with physical difficulties.
“The Trust encounters frequent daily challenges when it comes to the care of its members, so it seemed fitting that I take on my own personal challenge to support all the great work they do!”
Lucinda Gillingham, Head of Fundraising Development at Treloar’s Trust, said: “We are delighted that Chris kayaked across the English Channel to support Treloar’s and the physically disabled young people who come to our School and College to live, learn and achieve.
“Each year we have to raise nearly £2 million to pay for our specialist staff, equipment, transport, campus upgrades and activities for our students, so it is just amazing that Bidfood have chosen to support us in this way.”
Along with supporting Treloar’s Trust, the pair also fundraised for two more worthy local causes that Duncan personally supports. One of these causes is the Tyler Reader Brighter Future Fund, which was created by Duncan’s close friend, Steve Reader, in memory of his son who sadly passed away after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of Group A Streptococcus and developing Sepsis. The second cause is The Molly McLaren Foundation, which was set up as a legacy, by the family of a young girl who was violently murdered from a brutal attack by her ex-boyfriend.
When asked about the initiative, Duncan Marsh, Foodservice Account Director from Dawn Meats, said: “Having conquered Kilimanjaro for charity with Chris in 2012, this year we wanted to take on a new adventurous challenge to raise more money for even more good causes.
“The charities I have chosen are extremely close to my heart, as Steve has been a friend for a long time and I personally witnessed the heart-breaking deterioration of his little boy. As well as this,, Molly was another friend of mine who was a bright and smiley character taken far too soon, so I wanted to show my support for her as well.”