Teams take the plunge for south Warwickshire learning disabilities charity

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Some 54 teams took to the waters in fancy dress on Sunday to paddle 7.5 miles from Wasperton to Stratford to raise funds for people with learning disabilities.

The Shakespeare and Wellesbourne Lions Club hosted its 40th annual Raft Race along the River Avon - sponsored this year by the Rosconn Group, with the main beneficiary this year being Heart of England Mencap.

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The winning raft was Wonder Y Men A team who finished in one hour 14 minutes and 52 seconds, closely followed by Wonder Y Men B team just a few seconds later. Vikings 4 came third, completing the course in one hour 25 minutes.

The entry and sponsorship money has yet to be counted, but the event is expected to raise thousands of pounds towards purchasing specialist bikes to be enjoyed by people with learning disabilities in south Warwickshire.

Kelvin McIntosh, the Lions race committee chairman, said: “Every year we are amazed by the number of people who turn up and take part and have a really fantastic time, even though the course is far from plain sailing! The race was even more special in its 40th anniversary year and we are all immensely proud of the money we have raised since 1976.”

Cath Errington, fundraising manager for Heart of England Mencap, said: “Huge thanks to the Lions for choosing us this year, the Rosconn Group for being our headline sponsor, M6 Toll for being our supporting sponsors, all those who helped on the day and of course to everyone who got wet and took part.”

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