On June 8 2013, eight year old Lauren Richardson, accompanied by her dad Kevin, will attempt to kayak 225 miles down the River Thames for charity. The thirteen day event will see them negotiate 45 locks and travel up to 27 miles a day from the source of the Thames to the sea.
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The pair will start on the Saturday with a walk from Thames head to Cricklade, from there on, it’s by kayak all the way to the Thames estuary with an eight mile detour up the River Medway to finish in the village of Upnor on Friday June 21st.

The plan is to complete a daily blog reporting on river processes and other interesting facts about the river (primarily aimed at school groups. We will also be operating on amateur radio.thames2 We will be carrying 2 transmitters, one for contacting other radio amateurs on the 145Mhz 2 metre amateur band by voice, with the other transmitter sending out position data via APRS (automatic packet reporting system). APRS will plot our position along the Thames via the internet. We will be traceable at http://www.aprs.fi Call sign G0PEK

thames3Lauren is the driving force behind this adventure. Last year, we attempted a 135 Thames adventure but were defeated by the appalling weather during Jubilee week. We managed 62 miles before halting for safety reasons, however, we did complete the trip a few weeks later. During that trip, Lauren said that she wanted to raise money so that other children can do adventures too. When we finally got to Teddington Lock, Lauren wanted to keep on paddling through London. This has lead us to where we are now.

As well as providing a live rivers learning resource for school children, we will be raising money for Widehorizons Outdoor Education Trust. http://www.widehorizons.org.uk via the Your Adventure programme.

About Your Adventure

Your Adventure is an exciting new brand that has been created by the charity, Widehorizons. It’s an initiative focussed on developing the power of adventure in the community, working closely with children and young people.
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The Your Adventure team builds long-term relationships with schools, youth groups and individuals to provide as many opportunities for children and young people to experience adventure as possible.

Our vision is that every child should have the opportunity to experience adventure as part of their education and throughout their lives.

Widehorizons is a registered charity that has been around since 2004, providing adventure to over 32,000 children and young people every year. It continues to provide high quality adventure at six centres in England and Wales.
http://www.youradventure.org.uk

Lauren and Kevin will be camping each night when on the river and will mainly be unsupported so, whatever we need for the journey, we have to carry. This has created quite a few problems. How will we keep all our radios, cameras, phones and computer working? Can we carry enough food?

We recently completed a 35 mile (60 Km) practice trip along the River Medway to answer some of these questions.

During the event, we plan to reach out to as many young people as possible and hopefully motivate and enthuse young people to take part in adventures as well as raising money to provide valuable outdoor adventure opportunities for many young people.

You can follow our progress at http://www.riverthames2013.blogspot.co.uk and you can donate at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/KevinRichardson1 or via http://www.widehorizons.org.uk or http://www.youradventure.org.uk

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