You think of it as a summer activity, but not for a team of 40 stand-up paddleboarding Santas, who decided to take part in a Christmas challenge on Wareham’s River Frome to raise funds for the charity Action for Children
Jane Sneesby, a keen paddleboarder, who works for the charity as a Parent Talk (parent-talk.org.uk) adviser, an online service that matches parents and carers with trained parenting coaches for 121 advice, said, “This year has been tough for families with stresses and uncertainties affecting all of us in some way. Children and those that care for them have had to adapt quickly to fast moving situations and some families have really struggled with these changes. Having a friendly approachable service like Parent Talk to call on has been essential for parents and carers during these times, and we’ve seen a huge increase in demand. That’s why I wanted to raise as much as possible for Action for Children – so we can keep being there for those who need our help.”
In order to ensure the event was Covid safe, bubbles of six – five stand-up paddleboarders and a coach – took to the river on the hour, every hour, between 10am and 3pm.
Elaine Farquharson is from Dorset SUP (Stand Up Paddle Boarding) Coach and Guiding organised the event as well as personally coaching three of the six sessions that took place. She said, “I’m a mum of two and I know how difficult things have been for children this year, so when Jane and I had the idea of raising money for children this Christmas I jumped at the chance to help. I thought it was a really nice way to do something for the community and hopefully just have a really fun event that spreads a bit of much-needed Christmas cheer. I’ve asked friends in the SUP community across the UK to do their bit too and similar events are taking place in Birmingham and Devon – all raising money for Action for Children.”
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