The primary aim of the Cockleshell Endeavour is to raise awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst serving forces personnel and veterans and the planned kayak around the Falkland Islands in 2017 is designed to do this.
However, the Cockleshell Endeavour team is also enthusiastic about supporting PTSD sufferers at a grass roots level too. One half of the team, Steve Grenham, has found that training and participating in kayaking events has improved the symptoms of his PTSD, and it is for that reasons that the Cockleshell Endeavour has evolved and the project will now be supporting other recovering service personnel and veterans though a number of kayaking projects.
The first of these projects is the Devizes to Westminster Race 2017 where the Cockleshell Endeavour project will be entering five pairs, one half of which must be a serving military personnel or veteran who is recovering from serious injury or physical or mental health issues, including PTSD.
About the Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race
The Devizes to Westminster International Canoe Race starts in Devizes, Wiltshire, finishing just downstream of Westminster Bridge in central London, opposite the Houses of Parliament. The race has been held annually over the Easter Weekend since 1948. It’s a gruelling challenge which will see the teams kayak 125 miles, with 77 portages. It is expected to take them over 30 hours to complete, finishing in Westminster on Easter Sunday Evening. The first 52 miles are along the Kennet and Avon Canal to Reading, the next 55 miles are on the River Thames to Teddington. The final 17 mile section is on the tidal portion of the Thames.
The Devizes to Westminster is described by the organisers as a severe test of skill, physical and mental stamina and planning which produces a memorable sense of achievement for those successfully completing it.