National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

07 October 2011

 116 members of Shropshire YFC successfully completed their two day Open Canoe Charity Challenge, to canoe the length of the River Severn in Shropshire, and raise much needed money for Cancer Research UK.

The Challenge was the idea of Lucy Stokes, County Chairman, who tells me “I wanted to organise an event that any of our 900 members could take part in, in Shropshire, and to raise money for a good cause.”  

The members, aged 15 to 27, from 16 clubs in Shropshire each sponsored and paddled their boats for 20 hours, from Melverley, through Shrewsbury, on to Ironbridge, and ending at Bewdley yesterday evening.  The event was a challenge, not a social paddle, with members constantly having to paddle for up to 4 hours at a time, in order to cover the total miles during the weekend.

Lucy Stokes, County Chairman said today “ I was very proud of the 116 members who took part.  We all pushed ourselves to complete the physical challenge but also managed to have a good time as well.  It all went brilliantly (until I got thrown in the river at the end!).  Thanks to all the canoers, Drummond Outdoor, the wonderful helpers and our riverside supporters.  Also apologies to all the fishermen who we interrupted on our way down the Severn.”

The wettest pairing of the weekend was Gaz Ellis and Gareth Hughes from Whittington and Oswestry YFC, who capsized for the second time through Jackfield rapids and said “We wanted to be in it (the Severn) to win it!”.

Others found the event “hard work”, yet “calming”.  Fred Allen from Cleobury Mortimer YFC commented “we went within one field of my home, yet it was hard to identify exactly where I was.  I’ve not seen Shropshire from this angle before”.

Lucy will hand the Shropshire YFC donation over to Cancer Research UK at the Shropshire YFC AGM on 12th November 2011 at the Lord Hill Hotel.  Lucy says “I hope the total donation from this Canoe Challenge, our recent concert, and other fundraising events, will be around £10,000, which would be excellent”.

If people would still like to sponsor us, or donate, please visit, or visit us at for further details of Young Farmers activities in Shropshire.


Designed by Kevyn Williams