He made it, Andrew Turrill, head chef at the Hare and Hounds hung up his apron for the last 6 days to take on his biggest challenge yet. From Reading to Bristol, Andrew Kayaked a total of 92 miles in aid of Andover Young Carers, young people Andy describes as “superheroes” raising £540.
Andy told Andover Radio 95.5 fm moments after he had completed the challenge that he “worn out” and physically and mentally exhausted but after training for the past year he is really pleased he stayed focused and managed to raise what he could for such an “amazing cause”
Andover young carers, is an organisation who provide activities, help, and support to young carers, who Andrew describes as ‘superheroes’. “The term young carer includes children and young people under 18 who provide regular or ongoing care and emotional support to a family member with a disability, illness, mental health condition, or misuse of drug/alcohol.” says Andrew and “I cant express the fantastic work that Andover young Carers do”
Andover Young Carers offer indoor and outdoor activities, vital relief, and vital support to an amazing, but often hidden, group of young people within Northern Test Valley and surrounding districts, Andrew explains.
On his Go Fund Me page Andrew explained that being a sibling to 5 brothers and having grown up with autism and anxiety, “life as a child / young person very challenging” for him . However, he went on to say that “attending youth groups, not only helped to build my self-confidence and social skills, but they also sparked my passion for outdoor activities, and therefore, I know what a real difference groups can make to a young person’s life.”
Andrew started his challenge on the banks of the Thames beside the Wokingham Waterside Centre home of Wokingham Canoe Club which is located a short distance East of the start of the Kennet and Avon. Andy told Andover Radio 95.5 fm in an exclusive interview “there was nothing that could of prepared me for that challenge. I trained for a year but you just cant prepare yourself for the mental exhaustion”
“I’m so pleased that I have been able to complete it, I wanted to do something for the young carers- the superheroes. My brother works for Harrow Young carers and what they do is just amazing. When I was younger I was given opportunities to take part in groups and go on adventures and so I wanted to give something back“
Andrew and his family updated Reading to Bristol Solo Kayak 2021 page with his progress each day, and the messages of support really helped to push him along to the finish line, his mum Helen told us.
The hardest part of the challenge was getting the kayak in an out of the river says Andrew. “I had to go through 25 locks in just one day, it was hard work. I hadn’t prepared myself for just how difficult and time consuming that might be, and I had over packed and therefore had to off load some stuff along the way.“
Each evening Andy camped along the riverside to recoup before heading out again. The challenge took a total of 6 days to complete the 92 miles and over 100 locks.
Next year Andy told Andover radio 95.5fm that he hopes to go bigger and better. “There were some really difficult times, I was tired, wet and cold, which led to frustrations but the one thing this challenge has taught me is to believe in myself, next year I hope to to a kayak from the east coast to the west coast“
But today, after completing yesterday afternoon Andy is back in the kitchen.
You can still donate on his Go Fund me page HERE