We did it!

On Thursday 30 August 2018, Rebels Without Paws finally rowed the Channel to raise funds for The AHOY Centre. We are all very proud of our achievement!

We’re now busy arranging our final fundraising event: a quiz night on Friday 28 September at Shrewsbury House, Shooters Hill. Tickets can be booked by calling the House direct on: 020 8854 3895

We will be posting again after the quiz night with our final messages of thanks for what has been (in more ways than one!) an epic challenge. Our final post will be another opportunity to express our thanks to everyone who has supported us.

In the meantime, check out page 8 of this week’s Greenwich Mercury here to see the article about our day on the Channel and more about how you can support us if you’ve been waiting for news of us achieving our goal before considering a donation.

Thank you for reading!

Rebels Without Paws

 

7 Days to go – how the Rebels are staying motivated

After the disappointment of the postponement of our June Channel row for The AHOY Centre, we’ve been taking a little time out to re-group. It’s a strange feeling when you build yourself up to something major and it doesn’t happen.

Some of us have had our summer holidays and are feeling refreshed and invigorated. Some of us have ‘staycationed’ and made the most of the incredible weather. Some of us have got our heads down and thrown ourselves back in to work whilst coming to terms with the news.

We’ve just had confirmation of our itinerary for our revised row date, and now it’s feeling VERY real again! We are excited to confirm that Rebels hope to take to the English Channel on Thursday 16 August, with 17 & 18 as stand-by dates. Fingers and toes are crossed for clement weather this time!

One thing that the team have found that keeps us motivated is the incredible stories of others who have achieved great things, or who strive to succeed in the face of  adversity or other odds. Sport has a way of showing us all that we can do so much if we really put our minds to it. 

Here’s a round up of our favourite stories that prove sport is for everyone. If we can’t find motivation in any of these accounts, then we won’t find it anywhere. And what’s even better, they all prove that THIS GIRL CAN

AHOY HEAD ROWING COACH, SARAH CAIRNS, TRAVELS TO PARIS FOR THE 2018 GAY GAMES

We especially love this story because Sarah has been central to our rowing training. She has given us so much encouragement and advice, and has never been shy to tell us when we’re rowing particularly badly! You can read all about the Gay Games and see the ITV London News interview with Sarah here.

Sarah & her team brought home a bronze medal in the mixed eights rowing. An achievement to be celebrated, for sure.

AMPUTEE & BREAST CANCER SUFFERER, VICKI GILBERT, TAKES PART IN A CHANNEL SWIM RELAY

If anything puts things in to perspective, it’s a story like Vicki’s. The message throughout her story is achievement in the face of adversityRead Vicki’s incredible story at the Aspire website.  Aspire support people with spinal injury.

SEA GALS BECOME THE YOUNGEST FEMALE RELAY TEAM TO SWIM THE ENGLISH CHANNEL

The Sea Gals are a team of 6 girls aged 13 and 14 from south London. After an incredible effort at the end of July this year, they became the youngest female relay team to swim the Channel. To achieve so much at such a tender age, the possibilities for these inspiring young women are limitless.  Read all about their challenge here.

So, with renewed motivation, it’s onwards and upwards for Rebels Without Paws. We’ll keep you posted on how we get on next week!

Thank you for your support.

Rebels Without Paws x

 

 

The Rowing Song

In the last few days, Rebels Without Paws have been coming to terms with the fact that the weather has temporarily postponed our Channel row for The AHOY Centre. It’s disappointing. We’ve had to unpack our kit bags and come down from the anticipation and feeling of readiness. We are staying positive, though, and are working with The AHOY Centre to reschedule.

We think that Roald Dahl’s The Rowing Song sums things up quite well. Whilst we have avoided the hurricane a-blowing this time, we’re certainly not showing any signs that [we] are slowing. Unlike the rowers in the poem, though, we will soon know exactly where we are going!

The Rowing Song
Round the world and home again
That’s the sailor’s way
Faster faster, faster faster

There’s no earthly way of knowing
Which direction we are going
There’s no knowing where we’re rowing
Or which way the river’s flowing

Is it raining, is it snowing
Is a hurricane a–blowing

Not a speck of light is showing
So the danger must be growing
Are the fires of Hell a–glowing
Is the grisly reaper mowing

Yes, the danger must be growing
For the rowers keep on rowing
And they’re certainly not showing
Any signs that they are slowing.

Roald Dahl

Please keep your eyes on the blog for updates. We’ll be rowing again soon!

Rebels Without Paws

It’s finally here!

This month we’ve been planning, training and fundraising and the BIG week is finally here. There’s the small element of mother nature to over-come (weather & sea conditions may change the plan) but the team are now ready to hit the Channel.

 

June has been an incredible month. We’ve raised well over £2,500 and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed: be it by coming to one of our events, buying or making things for our fundraising stall, or by donating money or time to help us. Every last penny will enable The AHOY Centre to continue their amazing work with disadvantaged or at risk youngsters and disabled people. 

 

The next few days will be dedicated to hydration, nutrition, rest, sleep and final prep. Jane & Rosie have prepared their Cox’s briefing; our kit lists are made. Accommodation is arranged and the boat’s already in Dover. Armed with a carefully selected list of pick-me-up tunes to match our rowing stroke rate, a kids’ joke book and bags of positive attitude, we think we’re ready  to handle whatever the Channel has in store for us.

Bring it on!

Rebels Without Paws

 

 

A big thank you following a big weekend!

What a weekend for the Rebels Without Paws team! Friday and Sunday saw our biggest fundraising push to date with a quiz night at Shrewsbury House, followed by a Vintage and Craft Fair (also at Shrewsbury House).

Together, the 2 events boosted our fundraising total significantly, and the amount raised to date now stands at £4705. We are so grateful to all of those who turned out to support us over the weekend, especially as we were in the grip of the winter’s biggest freeze. The warmth and generosity people have shown has been incredible, and it all helps to keep us motivated to push on to achieve our £12,000.00 target.

One thing we all know for certain: we wouldn’t have had so much success without the support of some incredible individuals and organisations. We’d therefore like to publicly thank:

  • Gary at Diamond Digital for the leaflets
  • Jess and John and their staff at Shrewsbury House for helping with the quiz night and hosting the event in the bar at the House (incidentally open every Friday evening, if you’re local!)
  • Emma at Sweet William Designs for the generous donation of some beautiful doggy items for our raffle, craft stall and other up and coming events
  • The Kennel Club for the generous donation of Crufts tickets
  • Pets at Home, Charlton for the donation for our Facebook auction
  • Karin at Twisted Threads for the donation of coats, ladies wear & accessories for our raffle, craft stall and other up and coming events
  • The Staff at The Ahoy Centre for their on-going encouragement, support & training advice
  • All our friends and family who are continuing to lend a hand in lots of different ways (even though some of them think we’re crazy!)

If we’ve not mentioned you here, rest assured you’ll be named in future posts, because the list of people to thank is far from finished. We’ve got some more exciting events planned between now & June, and have already secured some gorgeous goodies, generously donated from both local and national organisations. Watch this space for more, and if you are local, keep your eyes peeled for the chance to join us as some fun community events.

Finally, not only was the weekend a big one for fundraising, but Team Captain, Libby, had her first on-water rowing training session. Libby and friends are taking part in The Ahoy Centre’s Meridian Pull on Sunday 11 March. The rest of the Rebels Team will be eagerly cheering them on, while counting the days until we all start our water rowing training (first session’s booked for 29 April!).

Keep in touch with our training progress, how we’re going with fund-raising target, and to find out how you can get involved in future events, by checking in with this blog. Not donated yet? You can do so here.

Thanks for reading!

Rebels Without Paws

How? When? Why?

I find myself asking: how on earth did we get here? A cold and frosty rememberance Sunday in 2017 and 7 women and their 12 dogs are lined up for a team photo. Not just any team, I hasten to add: Team Rebels Without Paws.

The answer to the question of ‘how’, is an interesting one. It’s fair to say it just sort of ‘happened’. Or rather, Libby (team captain) made it happen. Kallie, the only one in our team with any sort of rowing pedigree, had taken part in the Ahoy Centre’s Meridian Pull (an 8.5 mile row on the River Thames) over the summer. I have to admit to being quite envious. I get a thing about rowing every 4 years when Team GB smash it at the Olympics. But until a chance conversation with Libby one morning about how I really fancied doing what Kallie was doing, getting in to a boat had never been more than a daydream.

I should have known better than to admit my dream about taking on a rowing challenge to Libby. Last time we had one of these conversations, we ended up in a Half Iron Man relay. It can only be said that Libby is like the proverbial dog with a bone when an idea takes hold, so after the seed was planted, off she went to do some research. Next thing I know, we aren’t talking about a row up the Thames, Libby’s got us all but signed up to row the Channel. Now it’s important to say here that Libby has a strong connection with the English Channel. She swam it in summer this year. There are no words for how brave we all think she is for doing that; it’s an incredible achievement and I have to admit, Libby’s enthusiasm is infectous.

And so it came to be. Libby set her mind to it; we were going to row the Channel. When? In June 2018. So off she went on a one-woman recruitment drive to find her team. With a little trepidation for some of us, the team was confirmed, and that’s how we came to meet on Rememberance Sunday for our first team photo shoot. Please meet Team Rebels without Paws:

Libby, Team Captain
Caroline
Jane
Kallie
Kate
Michelle
Rosie

Coxswain: to be named

The ‘why’ we’re doing it will be told through our personal stories that we’ll share as part of this blog. Ultimately, though, why wouldn’t we do something to raise money for the amazing Ahoy Centre and the wonderful work that they do to help disadvantaged young and disabled people?

You can show your support for Team Rebels by donating or sending a virtual cheer by leaving your comments, tips or pearls of wisdom in the blog comments. Thanks for reading! Michelle

Children In Need

Tonight is Children In Need. The amazing team from The Ahoy Centre will be in the audience with their yellow t-shirts on – look out for them! The Ahoy is a very grateful recipient of the generosity of Children In Need donations. Rebels Without Paws are doing their bit to raise money to help the Ahoy keep up their great work by rowing the channel in June 2018.

Can you give up your Friday night takeaway tonight & donate the money to this fabulous cause? The Ahoy Centre improves the lives of disadvantaged young people and disabled people. Donations will help to train and motivate young people to gain invaluable life experiences, national qualifications, transferable employment skills and instill ambition and good citizenship.

Donate here!