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70-year-old man takes on 390 mile kayak challenge

Published on 25 May 2011 05:00 PM

Septuagenarian Peter Woolsey, from Henley-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, will be setting off on a solo 390 mile kayaking trip from Kendal to London on Saturday 28th May to help raise funds for Age UK.

Peter, who runs a software distribution company, originally completed the same journey when he was 17 years old and has decided to take to on the challenge once again to celebrate turning 70 this year. He's hoping his 16 day voyage across England will inspire older people to consider taking up canoeing and kayaking as a way to stay fit and healthy.

Peter said: 'As a youngster, I was fascinated by canals and kayaking, and it grew into a passion which has stayed with me throughout my life. Lately I've been developing my sea kayaking and water-skiing skills in the Baltic States, and I regularly canoe from Sonning to Henley as part of my training.

'I've always felt that age shouldn't be a barrier to achieving your goals, and I have no plans to slow down as I grow older: I'm hoping to water-ski the English Channel for my next challenge!

'I want to raise as much money as possible to help Age UK to continue to provide vital health and wellbeing services for older people, supporting physical activity‚ healthy eating and mental well-being. I also hope my journey will show that canoeing and kayaking is an enjoyable pursuit that people of all ages can enjoy - it would be wonderful to think I could inspire someone in later life to try an activity that's a bit different.'

Paul Farthing, Director of Fundraising at Age UK, said: 'Peter is taking on a significant challenge for Age UK, but has been training hard in preparation for his journey - and what better way to raise funds for the Charity than by doing an activity he clearly enjoys so much? Funds raised through his voyage will help Age UK run services for older people across the country, including regular exercise sessions, dance classes and cookery courses. Physical activity is one of the most effective ways of positively influencing our health in later life and can help ensure older people can continue to live at home independently, so anyone who supports Peter's challenge will be helping even more people make the most of life. We wish Peter every success with his venture and fundraising target.'

To donate to Peter's kayak challenge, please visit link in new window.

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Note to Editors

  1. For more information about Age UK please contact Lizzie Webster, Age UK Media Team, on 0203 033 1428 or e-mail
  2. Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged, dedicated to improving later life.
  3. Age UK provide free information, advice and support to over five million people; commercial products and services to over one million customers; and research and campaign on the issues that matter to people in later life. Our work focuses on five key areas: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work and training and leisure and lifestyle. We work with our national partners, Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI (together the Age UK Family), our local Age UK partners in England and local Age Concerns. We also work internationally for people in later life as a member of the DEC and with our sister charity Help Age International.
  4. Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England (registered charity number 1128267 and company number 6825798). Age Concern England and Help the Aged (both registered charities), and their trading and other associated companies merged on the 1st April 2009. Together they have formed the Age UK Group ("we").  Charitable services are offered through Age UK and commercial products are offered by the Charity's trading companies, which donate their net profits to Age UK (the Charity).

Media contact: Lizzie Webster
Tel: 020 3033 1428
Out-of-hours: 07071 243 243

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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