Tag: Just Giving

Kayaking The River Thames

Hello Everyone!

Today we ventured out onto the River Thames for challenge number 4! Neither of us have done any sort of rowing or sailing before so it took a little bit of time getting used to it! Below is our video when we arrived at the marina feeling very nervous (and poorly!).

Before we go any further did you know that you can click this link here and sponsor us to help BBC Children In Need continue all the amazing work that they do? Go on Click the Link!

We went to Shepperton Marina to collect our Kayak and life jackets. A lot of people were very concerned that we may end up drowning or getting run over (sailed over?) by a barge but we were assured that we would float if such an unfortunate incident would occur.

So here we are looking all enthusiastic with our paddles before venturing down to the water to get into our Kayak. That was not as easy. Trying to get into a really wobbly boat from a rather high jetty is a bit of an issue. I’m sure we provided the poor lad who was helping us with much entertainment and we wobbled around, clung to the side and finally managed to position ourselves into the Kayak. Look how pleased we are with ourselves!!! We then had to make our way out of the marina and onto the river.

Above is our video out on the Thames. We had our first rather unfortunate incident when leaving the marina. The person at the back of the kayak is in charge of steering. So what did Jenna do? Not Steer! As a result poor Sam ended up face first into a tree, a load of bushes and lots of reeds and rushes. I think a poor duck nearly got taken out during the collision too. There was tree in hair, tree in mouth, tree on face and a slightly damaged nose all very much to Jenna’s amusement. After that we definitely put a lot more focus onto steering! We did a journey round the Desborough Island then stopped for some lunch at the halfway point.

This was where unfortunate incident number two occurred. Jenna took a little bit of a splash. If you want to be technical then Jenna ran into the river. We had landed (is that the word? Do you land a Kayak? Or shall we go for beached? Like a whale?) the kayak on a bit of sand which should have enabled us to climb out of the kayak easily. As Jenna has the longest legs it was decided that she would take the leap over the tide and then pull Sam in. It took a little while but Jenna jumped out of the kayak semi gracefully and landed on the sand. Perfect you’d think? No wrong. For some reason unknown to us she turned around and ran straight into the river instead of up the sand and filled her shoes up with Thames water. Upon realising that her shoes were filling up she then jumped like a startled rabbit three times sideways along the river soaking her feet more and more each time before reaching a wall. What was Sam doing while this hilarious display was going on? Sitting in the Kayak laughing her head off so badly that she nearly capsized while hoping that Jenna was not going to push her back out into the river with no oar as a method of retaliation.

We had a quick lunch (3 hours of kayaking is more tiring than you would think!) and then made our way back out onto the river. We had learnt from past mistakes. Jenna had two wet feet by this point and Sam had one wet foot due to accidentally putting her foot into the Thames while trying to climb a ladder. This meant we only had one dry foot between us and we were planning on keeping it that way. Sam got into the kayak first and then we maneuvered the Kayak so the front of the Kayak was floating in the river. This meant Jenna only had to get into the back of the Kayak, we’d push away from the sand and off we would float. Perfect plan right? Nope. With both of us in the Kayak we had weighed it down so we were stuck in the sand. We resorted to rocking the kayak, frantic paddling and shuffling to dislodge our Kayak from the sand much to the amusement of the people picnicking on the riverside! However persistence paid off and we were soon back on the river paddling away at full speed. We completed the lap around the Island and rowed past the marina towards the weir.

We are doing these 12 wacky challenges to raise as much money as we can for BBC Children In Need. We keep in touch with all of the people following our challenge on Facebook live so we thought it was only right to do a Facebook live video from the Thames. If there is one video that you choose to watch on this blog post we suggest you watch this one!

Our 6 hours on the Thames went so quickly! We covered such a distance and saw so many amazing things but by now our arms were really starting to hurt and it was time to slowly make our way back to the marina. As we got to the entrance of the marina we met a ferry with no driver (Think Pirates of the Caribbean) which was a little bit creepy but it turns out that it just goes backwards and forwards ferrying people to the other side of the marina. We got back to the dock and then had to face the challenge of getting out of the Kayak. Somehow it just did not seem possible to climb back onto the platform which we had fallen into our kayak from 6 hours previously. After about 5 minutes of us maneuvering ourselves to try to find the best way out and arguing over who was getting out first Jenna managed to clamber onto the platform. Sam however was far too much of a chicken and far too scared of the scum and moss that was floating by in the river. Fear not though as a lovely man came to hold the kayak while Jenna yanked Sam out of the boat and onto the platform. No accidental splash in the river but a little bit of a dented ego! We sadly waved goodbye to our Kayak and made our way back to the car.

As always here is our after event video! It appears all the river air (or the amount of flies consumed!) may have gone to our heads and we appear to have lost it slightly in this video!

Please don’t forget that we are dong this for such a good cause and would really appreciate your help. Any sponsorship you can give us will make such a difference. We regularly get hundreds of views on our videos so can you even imagine how much money we could raise for Children In Need if you all just donated £1 when you watch us muppets?

So come on guys click this link and donate what you can to help Children In Need.

Link not working? No excuse! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CINChallenge you can copy and paste this one here!

Not sure how to copy and paste? It’s ok! You can text “UCIN50 £10” to 70070 and donate via text! You can donate £1, 2, 5 or £10 this way!

Thank You for reading our rather long post! We look forward to seeing you for challenge number five!

Lets raise lots!

Sam & Jenna


#2 – February – O2 Climb

We are very please to be able to say that February’s challenge is now booked!
You can watch our lovely little video below to find out what it is!

We had had a rather heavy night the night before so were feeling a little worse for wear here so be kind!

The video appears to not be showing on some devices, so any issues here is the direct link which may work on those devices that are currently not working! 🙂 If both work for you then you just have to look at our tired little faces twice (lucky you!).

So for February we are going to be climbing the O2 in London! 380 metres of fabric walkway over the O2 while being 52 metres above the ground.

The date is set for the 16th of February at 4pm and we think we can actually take our phones on this one unlike down in the caves so there should be more videos to upload!

As always if you could help us out by liking/sharing/tweeting/subscribing to our blog that would be fantastic! Also if we have done enough to earn a little bit of sponsorship out of you please visit http://www.CINChallenge.com/Donate where you can see all the ways in which to help support our cause.

Don’t forget the Text Code! By simply texting “UCIN50 £10” to 70070 £10 will be sent to the lovely people at Children In Need. You can also add gift aid to your donation via the text code at no additional cost to you! You can donate £1, £2, £5, £10 in this way and it will appear on our Just Giving page.

Thank You to everyone who has supported us so far, we have a long way to go with some very exciting things coming up and hopefully a lot more money to raise!

~Sam & Jenna




January – Caving at Cheddar Gorge

Hello! Today was the day that we completed our first challenge for Children In Need. We left at around 8:45 to make the two hour drive down to Cheddar in Somerset:

On our drive down to Cheddar we drove past Stone Henge! It is fascinating to wonder how they actually got those stones up there. For anyone who does not know what Stone Henge is (well you never know who could be reading!) here is a lovely little picture thanks to English Heritage:


Cheddar Gorge is located in Somerset and it is where Cheddar cheese comes from! After seeing all the  cheese lined up in the caves we now know exactly what they mean by cave-aged cheddar!!

Once we got to Cheddar we were a bit early so got to have a look around. There are so many traditional and old shops including the one below which did wooden carvings and had this lovely little selection of ducks in boots!!

After our little wander around Cheddar it was time to go get suited and booted ready to go caving. The caving we had signed up for was the X-treme caving adventure which you can check out by clicking here.

You are led ¼ mile, past the admiring tourists in Gough’s Cave to start your Level 2 multi-pitch caving expedition. You switch on your head lamp for the easy climb to the Mushroom Chamber, crawl into Sand Chamber, use a lifeline down a 40ft steel ladder into the Boulder Chamber, then climb up the Far Rift.

You emerge through April Fool’s Squeeze, clip onto a wire traverse and crawl across The Bottomless Pit, then slip headfirst through The Letterbox, before returning to the Sand Chamber on your way out – muddy, but proud!

As we were not able to take our phones into the cave through fear of breaking them we did a video before we entered the cave. Nerves were definitely setting in as either of us had done anything like this before. It is a strange sort of nerves because as discussed in the video above it is hard to know that something scares you if you have never experienced anything like it before, in this instance claustrophobia. Having never been trapped in a small space before it is hard to know if small spaces scare you so the fear was more a fear of being fearful and the unknown!

Here are our delightful caving clothes before we entered the caves! We thought it was going to be really cold in the caves but it turns out it was actually quite the opposite! We were actually very grateful for these outfits as we really did get covered in mud from head to foot!

Once we were suitability dressed we made our way to the cave. Nerves by this point were off the scale. We plodded along in our boots past the tourists and to the entrance of the bit of the cave we were going to explore. The lovely man in the middle there was our X-treme caving instructor called George. How this man managed to put up with the pair of us in a cave underground for nearly 2 hours we have no idea. While we were crawling, climbing, slipping and sliding our way through the cave he was sailing through making it look really effortless and giving us all the interesting facts and history about the caves at the same time. We quickly found out that caving was no where near as effortless as George made it seem. One of the hardest decisions for each section of the cave was whether to go feet first or head first! This along with the decision to try and crawl through like a worm or shuffle through like an upside down tortoise. Turns out shuffling through a gap which is only ever so slightly bigger than you are is not very easy and we both managed to get ourselves well and truly stuck on several occasions. However when the only option you have is to get yourself out then you somehow find some sort of strength or some sort of flexibility that you never knew you had. The 40 foot ladder was a bit of a challenge but we managed it! We are very proud to say that both of us conquered the letter box which was a tiny gap between the rocks that we had to crawl face first down and post ourselves through and crawl through the gap in the rock and out the other side. Sam may have made the mistake of going feet first and got a little bit stuck, but we will gloss over this bit. The bottomless pit for us was probably the most terrifying part. We had to crawl across the rocks at the top of the pit and then across a ladder/ledge that was laid across the pit. After just under two hours of caving we were at the end of the experience and  made our way back to the entrance of the cave very very muddy!


For our challenges we wanted to do things that either scared us or pushed us. This one definitely did both. We are bruised, achy, muddy and look like we’ve had a lovely little bit of fake tan!

If this is ever something you have considered doing then we would tell you to go do it! It is terrifying but so worth it in every way. We never thought that we could do something like this and surprised ourselves!

Thank You so much to George and the team at Cheddar Gorge for such a brilliant day! A massive thanks to George for ensuring we got through the cave safely, and for putting up with us two for 2 hours of your day! You were a brilliant instructor and we really enjoyed our day!

We are currently on £111 raised for BBC Children In Need. Please visit our just giving page by clicking here. Every donation will make such a difference and is for a really good cause.

You can also text:
“UCIN50 £5” to 70070 to Donate £5
“UCIN50 £10” to 70070 to Donate £10

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank You for reading our Blog. Please like, share, tweet, subscribe to help us raise as much as we possibly can for Children In Need!

~Sam & Jenna