AN EAST Woodhay woman is to row around Great Britain to raise money for charity and mark her 60th birthday this summer.
Lesley Foden will set off on Saturday, June 3, to embark on an eight-week, 1,800-mile journey, pushing off from Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex, aboard the rowing boat, Liberty.
“I had this mad idea to challenge myself to row around Great Britain because I will be 60 this year – and because I want an adventure,” said Mrs Foden.
The crew of five will see three people rowing continuously over 24 hours.
“The aim is for two hours on and two hours off around the clock,” said Mrs Foden.
Should the weather turn bad, in high seas the crew will retreat to tiny cabins
“We just seal everything in and let the boat roll and it self-rights,” Mrs Foden added.
During two-hour breaks, crew then snatch some sleep, a drink or freeze-dried food.
Mrs Foden said: “It won’t be comfortable or luxurious and as regards facilities – there aren’t any, just a plastic bucket on deck at the back.
“I want to inspire older people to exercise and to raise awareness of plastic pollution in the seas.”
Married to Mark for 30 years, Mrs Foden also has an “astounded and proud” 19-year-old daughter, Poppy.
Mrs Foden chairs the East Woodhay and Highclere Neighbourcare volunteer driving group and is a member of St Martin’s church choir and bell-ringing team.
She needs to raise £20,000 to take part, plus a further £20,000 for the two charities supported by her venture – Sea Changers and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
A still-life painter, sales of her paintings have raised £9,000 towards the £40,000 total.
To make a donation visit http:row.lesleyfoden.com.
For an in-depth article and interview with Lesley Foden pick up a copy of the May Out & About magazine, issued free with the Newbury Weekly News on April 27.