Lion’s annual raft race boosts Mencap cycling project

Heart of England Mencap with their new bikes funded by the Lions annual raft race
Heart of England Mencap with their new bikes funded by the Lions annual raft race

The 2016 Lions Raft Race has been declared the most successful in years – raising an oarsome £14,000 for charity.

With all the sponsorship money counted and received the funds have been given to Heart of England Mencap, the main beneficiary for the 40th annual Raft Race.

Jointly organised by the Wellesbourne and District and Shakespeare Lions Clubs and sponsored by Rosconn Group, the race saw 54 teams successfully navigate course.

Paddling to victory in their homemade crafts in July last year, the teams made their way down 7.5 miles of the River Avon, and all in the name of charity.

Every penny raised has been donated to support Heart of England Mencap’s cycling project - aiming to purchase adapted bikes for local people with learning disabilities, allowing them to get out, keep fit and experience the joy of cycling.

Cath Errington, fundraising manager for Heart of England Mencap said: “We were overwhelmed when the Lions presented us with the first £11,700, so to hear the total has actually gone up to £14,000 is just amazing.

“Our fleet of adapted bikes is already growing thanks to the Raft Race, we now have trikes as well as a hand cycle, and have plans to purchase a side-by-side bike

“We owe a huge thanks to the Lions and to everyone who took on the Raft Race for us.”

Heart of England Mencap will also use funds raised to help pay for storage for the bikes, and a track – but they urgently need to find the right site first.

Cath added: “Finding the right location to base our cycling is proving very difficult.”

“We need a site that is close to Stratford and has either a flat wide track or space for us to build a track, or improve what’s already there - it also needs to have parking, accessible toilets and space for storage.

“We’d be so grateful for any help or ideas from the community, or any leisure or sports clubs locally.”

The Lions Raft Race takes place on Sunday July 23 with the Riding for the Disabled Association this year’s main beneficiary.

To sign up the event go to