Chiswick Lifeboat Crew's 32-hour Cycling Challenge

Members ride equivalent distance from most northerly to southerly RNLI stations

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A bid by lifeboat crew members to cycle the equivalent distance from the most northerly and southerly RNLI lifeboat stations has raised more than £10,000.

On the charity’s biggest national fundraising day – SOS Day – lifeboat crew members from Chiswick and Teddington RNLI took up residence in The Bentall Centre in Kingston-upon-Thames for a marathon 32-hour fundraiser.

Using cycling machines, the group were aiming to cycle the equivalent of 768 miles, the distance between the RNLI’s most northerly and southerly lifeboat stations - Aith, in Scotland, and St Helier in Jersey, respectively.
But at the end of a gruelling 32 hours, they had almost doubled their original target - cycling a total of 1,199 miles throughout Friday day and night and until closing time on Saturday.

Chiswick RNLI crew member Martin Blaker Rowe, who dreamed up the fundraising idea, said: "From the collection buckets alone over the two days we raised £8,691, and that was from around 30 buckets. And in terms of online sponsorship, we have £1,400 so far.
Of course, people can still donate and show their support for SOS by visiting"

Two of the well-known Chelsea Pensioners were also lending their support for the fundraiser, and were game enough to try their hand - or feet - at cycling.

Martin said: "Between us, the crews from Chiswick and Teddington RNLI are delighted that we managed to cycle such a massive distance, almost doubling our original target! We got lots of support over the two days - it was obviously a little quiet in the dead of night, but the crowds and the interest more than made up for it during daytime hours!

"And to have raised so much for the lifeboats charity was fantastic. We are really grateful to everyone who stopped to look at what we were doing, shout words of encouragement, make a donation and show their support for the RNLI's biggest national fundraising day."

Aimee Menniss, RNLI Community Fundraising Manager for London, said: '‘The Bentall Centre was a great place to do this as we benefited from so many people passing by and seeing what we are doing. It all helps to raise awareness of what we do and, of course, raise funds on our biggest day of the year – SOS Day."

To find out more about the Chiswick and Teddington RNLI crew’s exploits, or to show your support, log on to

February 1, 2011