A group of 11 Strata team members embarked on an amazing three-day journey kayaking across Yorkshire to raise money for our Charity of the Year, Autism Angels.
The group left Leeds, North Yorkshire, at 9am on Thursday 26th April and arrived in Goole, East Yorkshire, at 4pm on Saturday 28th April. They raised £3541, which with Strata’s matched funding takes their total to over £7000.
“It didn’t really kick in what we were doing until we got in the water,” says Andy Brailsford, project manager at Strata.
“The first day, going through the centre of Leeds was really interesting, but it was also one of the hardest parts because there were a lot of lochs, so we were constantly getting out, carrying the kayak to the next point, getting in again. That was toughest bit,” says Josh Smith.
“Sometimes the banking was like 12-feet-high and we were having to lift people out and having to jump back down into our kayaks.”
“Sometimes the next loch was a fair distance, so it wasn’t just a case of carrying the kayaks a few metres and getting back in the water again, a lot of the time it was quite a trek,” says Ally Pearson, customer care representative at Strata.
Drying sponsor money with a hairdryer
“On the first day Dino and Allan capsized the main canoe, with all our bags in and all the sponsorship money! Everything got soaked,” remembers Josh.
Hannah Granton, customer care representative at Strata laughs. “That night they had Simon using a hairdryer to dry out all the money!”
On the second day, the weather turned which tested the team’s spirit. “It was just 8 hours of rain and cold wind, and that was the day we had to do the most miles,” says Josh. “It was hard but it was good fun. Even when it was just chucking it down spirits were still high.”
Those who didn’t join the team in the water were there to support from land. Bob Lyons, project manager at Strata, was waiting at every halfway and finish point on all three days with sausage and bacon sandwiches to keep the team going.
And as the team reached their final destination in Goole, Paul Durkin, project manager at Strata, came to meet the team, greeting them with a much needed and appreciated care package of beer and chocolate.
Despite the challenge being physically and mentally draining, the team all agree that it was worth it. “The best bit was the team bonding. I’ve done quite a few charity events but none have been as good as this one for bonding,” says Andy. “Helping each other out helped everyone to come together as a group,” agrees Josh.
“I would do it again, 100%,” says Hannah, and the rest of the group agree that it was an experience they would definitely do again next year.