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Windsor woman to paddleboard 135 miles along Thames

A Windsor woman is taking on a 135-mile journey along the River Thames – via paddleboard.

Ruth Brown, 42, who lives in a boat on the river, will be starting her journey on Monday from Cricklade, near the river’s source in Wiltshire, down to Richmond Lock.

She is raising money for the Scottish Association of Mental Health (SAMH) and has already surpassed her £963 target.

Money raised will go towards a number of different SAMH projects.

These include the information service based in Brunswick House, Glasgow, which is funded entirely by public fundraising and provides support for those who may be in distress or seeking advice.

Another is work focused on help for children and young people, which is also purely funded by the public.

Ruth’s journey will take her through 44 lock gates before ending up in the capital, where the Thames becomes tidal, and it is estimated to take her four to five days.

She said: “Both my partner and I suffered from depression and [mental health] is something that is prevalent in society.

“It is becoming such an increasing focus.”

She added: “I am a little bit nervous to be honest. I have a blow-up paddle board so my biggest concern is I am going to have to take my pump with me.

“I only got my paddleboard a year ago. This is not something I would say I am advanced or have a wealth of experience in.

“I am a mixture between excited and nervous, but really keen.

“I have had a boat on the river for 12 years and walked on the Thames Path.

“I have always had the idea of going from the source to the Thames Barrier.

“I just had the bright idea, why not do it by paddleboard?“

Donate at bit.ly/2Kx4zQM

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