Local npower teams push the boat out for Macmillan Cancer Support

Over 100 employees from npower’s Solihull, Worcester and Oldbury offices clubbed together and took to the water for an ‘oar-some’ rowing competition along the River Severn, raising thousands of pounds along the way.

Now in its fourth year, the company’s ‘Worcester Paddle’ event raises money for its charity partner of 15 years, Macmillan Cancer Support.

Before embarking upon the challenge, the team had already blown their fundraising target out of the water with each paddler exceeding their individual fundraising target of £50, collectively raising £7,965, which npower have pledged to match pound for pound, taking the total to £15,930.

Starting at the Stourport Boat club, the enthusiastic paddlers were led by 12 captains and boarded their twin hulled bell boats, steering their way through the 20km course, along the country’s longest river and onto the finishing point at Worcester Rowing Club.

Leading her crew to victory in the water in an impressive 2 hours and 10 minutes, team captain of the ‘Row Hard or Row Home’ team, Sam Bowers, channel optimisation manager at npower’s Solihull site, said: “I can’t even explain how hard we paddled – a couple of the younger lads were suffering, but the older ones among us pulled them along.

“We had no breath for singing, just counting and motivating each other the entire time. We were on a mission to beat last years’ time of 2 hour and 15 minutes and as we got closer to the final lock, it was like we had propellers under our boat.

“With an amazing team spirit and sheer determination from all, we brought our boat home for a well-deserved first place – we smashed it!

Crew member and an npower Business Account Manager, Rich Bagwell, added: “I was apprehensive beforehand as I didn’t know my crew – but I needn’t have been. It was an incredible day with great banter. The weather was perfect and my fellow crew in the ‘Ship Happens’ boat were a great group, even if we weren’t that fast.

“I found it quite moving when Cat from Macmillan shared why our fundraising is so important. I’m really lucky that I don’t have someone close battling with cancer – but thinking that one in two of us will be affected at some point in our lives really brought home why events like this matter.”

Catriona Munn, Senior Partnership Manager at Macmillan Cancer Support, who spurred the crews on, said: “This was a fantastic effort by all who took part, thank you for rowing to raise money to help people affected by cancer.

Cat went on to talk about the importance of the partnership: “Reaching the 15 year milestone for any charity partnership is fantastic and we are so grateful to all the enthusiastic npower employees who hike, run, bake and row for Macmillan year after year.

“The number of people living with cancer in the UK is rising and so we greatly appreciate the continued dedication of employees at npower. The money raised will allow Macmillan to be right there for people living with cancer and continue providing vital practical, emotional and financial support.”