Gareth Hughes, a sales negotiator at Haslams in Reading, and his friend Chris Bucksey, a landscape gardener, have raised just under £1000 for ‘Ready Emmy Walk’, part of Just4Children, by taking part in the world-renowned endurance event, The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race, which took place on 26th March and ended on Easter Sunday.
The pair travelled in a kayak from Devizes, Wiltshire finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. 125 miles long, the race has 77 portages and takes just over 24 hours to complete.
Gareth explains: “The challenge was certainly gruelling, it was really hard work, but we finished it with a smile, coming in 34th place out of a total 140 crews. Thank you to everyone who has donated and supported us so far. The great atmosphere of the comradery of the other paddlers, the friends, family and well-wishers that had come out into the cold and wet to support us was amazing. We hope to raise even more for Emmy.”
The money raised is going towards an overall fundraising target of £86,000, so that their friend’s 20-month-old daughter, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia, can receive life-changing surgery – Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) – to help her walk.
Steve Woodford, managing director at Haslams comments: “We’re incredibly proud of Gareth and Chris – they’ve completed a tough challenge and raised vital funds for a family friend in need. Donating towards this worthy cause is the least we could do, we wish the King family all the very best.”
To add to Gareth and Chris’ total, please visit
To find out more about ‘Ready Emmy Walk’, visit