The Tweed Challenge is a bid by two inexperienced kayakers to navigate 97 miles of the famous Scottish river to raise funds for Veterans Aid.
Its aim is to help VA prevent ex-servicemen and women in crisis from becoming street homeless – and providing an immediate way out for those who are.
A meeting on the touchline of a rugby match, while cheering on their sons five years ago, led to an unexpected outcome for a 49-year-old Scottish businessman and a 46-year-old army officer.
Over a recent lunch, investment manager Jamie M and Lieutenant Colonel Nick Woolgar hatched a plan that would transform them from spectator status to centre stage of an ambitious personal challenge, to raise funds for homeless veterans.
The charity they decided to support, through their fundraising challenge, was Veterans Aid.
“This was a big decision for us,” explained Jamie. “Prior to approaching VA, we studied the charity and its management team. We concluded that they were a very high-quality group of professionals, doing something special in a crowded charity environment. They have disciplined processes; tremendous transparency and they really care about helping veterans out of difficult situations. They do a lot more than ensuring ‘no first night out’ and what they have achieved in recent years is truly impressive.”
The ‘challenge’ the men set themselves was no easy one! Lack of experience notwithstanding, they have decided to kayak 97 miles along the temperamental River Tweed, a deceptively calm looking waterway that can turn treacherous and has caught many people by surprise.
Already in training, their journey will take place between 8 – 15 June 2018, starting at the source of the River Tweed at Tweed’s Well high in the hills and ending at its mouth at the North Sea coastal town of Berwick-upon-Tweed.