Hackney man to row 83 miles down the Thames in homemade boat for charity

Glenn Tonner, 33, will be rowing 83 miles down the Thames in a homemade boat to raise money for MND Scotland

Glenn Tonner, 33, will be rowing 83 miles down the Thames in a homemade boat to raise money for MND Scotland - Credit: Glenn Tonner

A former Merchant Navy officer will be rowing 83 miles down the River Thames for charity, in a homemade, foldable boat in memory of his mum. 

Glenn Tonner, 33, will be rowing for four days from his current home in Goring in South Oxfordshire to HQS Wellington near Embankment in London, to raise money for the motor neurone disease charity MND Scotland

He said: “I’m raising funds for MND Scotland because it’s a cause very close to my heart and they do genuinely life-changing work.

"In 2012 I lost my mother to Motor Neurone Disease (MND), when she was only 52. She was diagnosed in 2010. 

Glenn continued: “I grew up in the Shetland Islands and MND Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland providing care and support to people affected by MND, as well as funding vital research into finding a cure.”  

Glenn's homemade boat is made almost entirely from salvaged and reclaimed materials

Glenn's homemade boat is made almost entirely from salvaged and reclaimed materials - Credit: Glenn Tonner

Glenn, who sadly lost his mum to motor neurone disease in 2012, began building a boat, named Lockdown, while living in Hackney.

He said he originally started building the boat as a way to stay busy during lockdown.

His Journey will begin on December 13 and he will spend the entire four days rowing. In the evenings the 33-year-old plans to sleep on the boat and enjoy fish suppers provided by his wife Fiona. 

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Glenn added: “I've done a smaller dummy run by rowing 21 miles to Shiplake, navigating the locks for the first time and sleeping my first night on the boat. It's not the Hilton but with a makeshift canopy and a decent sleeping bag, it was a learning experience but surprisingly ok."

Glenn's boat called Lockdown can fold in half

Glenn's boat called Lockdown can fold in half - Credit: Glenn Tonner

And the now British registered vessel is made almost entirely out of salvaged and reclaimed materials, including wood donated from Stoke Newington's Testi restaurant, an old seat gifted by Goring Gap Rowing Club and a pair of oars crafted from a neighbour's old chopping board. 

Iain McWhirter from MND Scotland, said: “I am always inspired and impressed by the creative challenges people take on to raise money for MND Scotland and want to say a huge thank you and good luck to Glenn for taking on this unique and testing feat."

Support Glenn at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/glenn-tonner1

 

 

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