14 September 2012
For immediate release Friday 14 September
For further information Samantha Whitwham SWhitwham@redcross.org.uk
Contact number 0117 301 2624 or 07525 128297
British Red Cross fundraiser nets £1,000 in bathtub voyage
A University of Warwick student has raised one thousand pounds for the British Red Cross in a very quirky challenge – paddling 136 miles from Birmingham to London in a bathtub.
Twenty-one year old engineering student, Luke Parry, covered the miles journeying along the Grand Union Canal, leaving Olton, West Midlands on Sunday 26 August and finally arriving in Little Venice, London on Tuesday 4 September.
Throughout his unusual journey, Luke had to contend with bucketing rain, blazing sun, backache and blisters. He camped each night on the cold floor of his tent as he wanted to keep his kit as light as possible – having to carry it and his heavy tub around 110 locks.
“It was very hard going”, said Luke, originally from Eastrington, East Yorkshire. “Every morning my muscles were aching so much that it took two good cups of strong coffee to get me going. I never thought it was going to be easy, but I am overwhelmed that I’ve managed to achieve what, at times, I thought was quite impossible.”
Luke is not one to shy away from epic challenges. Last year he cycled 2,200 miles from London to Istanbul in aid of the Red Cross New Zealand Earthquake Appeal after his family were caught up in the disaster.
His latest challenge took months of planning and he even had to abandon his first attempt at the journey due to the monsoon-like conditions of our English summer. But this did not deter him from completing the voyage.
“Most people thought that I was just paddling up and down the river in the tub, but when I said I had paddled from Birmingham they thought I was joking” explained Luke. “When they realised I was serious, most people put their hands in their pocket or wallet to make a donation and wish me well for the remaining journey.”
When asked why he had undertaken such an eccentric challenge, Luke said: “As corny as it may sound someone once said to me ‘dream big’. I had a lot of doubt and a knock to my confidence when my first attempt went so badly, but I was determined to achieve my dream and prove that anything’s possible with a bit of determination. Now I can look positively ahead to the future. I just wonder what next adventure life will throw at me!”
Local fundraiser, Jackie Ord said: “What Luke has managed to achieve is truly inspirational and everyone at the Red Cross are incredibly grateful for his astonishing pledge to the Red Cross. He has managed to raise a fantastic sum of money that will go a long way to helping vulnerable people in crisis, both locally and overseas and we really do applaud his amazing efforts and congratulate him on his achievement.”
For more information about Luke’s adventure or to make a donation, please visit http://bathtubadventure.com
For more information about the Red Cross or to arrange your own fundraising challenge, please visit redcross.org.uk/fundraising or call Jackie Ord on 02476 304200
Notes to editors
The British Red Cross helps people in crisis, whoever and wherever they are. We are part of a global voluntary network, responding to conflicts, natural disasters and individual emergencies.
We enable vulnerable people in the UK and abroad to prepare for and withstand emergencies in their own communities. And when the crisis is over, we help them to recover and move on with their lives.
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