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Woodbridge prepares for two-week Macmillan challenge on the River Deben

PUBLISHED: 13:09 19 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:53 21 August 2019

Chairman of Deben Macmillan Challenge organising committee, Adrian Smith, poses with the hippos to be found on the way to Felixstowe Ferry. Picture: BOB BRADLEY

Chairman of Deben Macmillan Challenge organising committee, Adrian Smith, poses with the hippos to be found on the way to Felixstowe Ferry. Picture: BOB BRADLEY

Archant

Hundreds of people are set to row, sail, swim and kayak along one of Suffolk's most iconic rivers as part of a two-week challenge to raise £25,000 for people with cancer.

John McCarthy CBE officially launched the charity campaign at the Longshed in Woodbridge in June. Picture: GEMMA JARVISJohn McCarthy CBE officially launched the charity campaign at the Longshed in Woodbridge in June. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS

The Deben Macmillan Challenge is set to begin on August 24.

The charity has set up a fitness-themed challenge where participants can complete a 28-mile route, starting from Ufford through to Woodbridge and on to Waldringfield, Martlesham and Bawdsey before ending at Felixstowe Ferry.

The Macmillan East Suffolk Fundraising Group officially opened the event at a launch evening in June with help from author and journalist John McCarthy CBE, who spoke of his support for the charity after losing family to the disease.

"I think it's brilliant to have come up with this idea to encourage people to explore this river and for such a wonderful cause, too," he said.

The River Deben will provide a stunning backdrop for the fitness themed fundraiser. Picture: GEMMA JARVISThe River Deben will provide a stunning backdrop for the fitness themed fundraiser. Picture: GEMMA JARVIS

With more than 1,000 people involved, the aim is to raise £25,000 for those in Suffolk suffering with cancer.

Macmillan's fundraising manager, Alexandra Haswell, said: "Cancer is life-changing but with the right support, life with cancer is still life and we help people live it.

"The money will go towards supporting people in Suffolk affected by cancer at the time they need us most."

Participants can choose how to tackle the river run including sailing, swimming, rowing, kayaking and even on horseback, with a Suffolk Punch being ridden as well as unusual boats being involved.

Participants are urged to look out for the "hippo's in the water" too, a mile before the finish line at Felixstowe.

The challenge can be completed over as little or as many days as people prefer within the two-week period, ending on September 8. Activities can also be mixed.

Chairman Adrian Smith said: "We are delighted that the mayors of Woodbridge and Felixstowe will be cutting the starting ribbon for the Deben Macmillan Challenge at 9.30am on Saturday, August 24 at Ufford Park Hotel."

Members of Ipswich Piping Society will be playing 28 tunes at Whisstocks Place in Woodbridge at 11am as part of their contribution.

If you would like to take part in any of the sponsored activities taking place or for more information please click here.

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