Intrepid fundraisers to sail Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox
- Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District
Over the years, tens of thousands of people have sailed on the Norfolk Broads, enjoying a jewel in the nation's crown.
But how many have done so in a box which would usually carry essential supplies for those hit by disaster?
While the number is undoubtedly very low, it is set to rise considerably as four intrepid fundraisers take on an innovative challenge.
Having supported ShelterBox for almost 10 years, Paul Weatherill and a team from the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail 40 miles in three days aboard a unique, homemade vessel.
At the core of their creation, named 'Green Light', is an iconic green box which will carry them from Great Yarmouth via Braydon Water to Norwich.
Along the way they plan to speak to locals and holidaymakers about ShelterBox, raising awareness of the charity and collecting donations in the process.
Mr Weatherill, who, by his own admission, is far from a professional sailor, said: "I was inspired when I read a book about a man who crossed the Atlantic in a modified Jeep called 'Half-Safe'.
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"Just because we haven’t tried it before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
"We’re all of the mentality that it’s good to have a go and try new things – and even better when it’s to support a cause we’re passionate about."
Founded in Cornwall back in 2000, ShelterBox has supported two million people impacted by conflict and disaster.
Watton Rotary Club has offered its own support for almost ten years as part of the charity’s project partnership with Rotary International.
Since coming up with their madcap scheme, the team of four have been designing, building and testing the craft on the water.
And their efforts have caught the eye of ShelterBox patron, The Duchess of Cornwall, who backed the brave voyage in a letter to the mid Norfolk club.
She said the fundraiser "will make the most enormous difference to people who have, tragically, been made homeless by disaster and conflict, and I should like to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart."
To donate ahead of the challenge, taking place from August 7 to 9, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-weatherill.