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Norfolk funeral director raises money for charity with canoe challenge

Paul Allcock, his wife Alison, sister Sharon and brothers Philip and Mark, raised more than £1,000 for a mental health charity with a gruelling canoe challenge.

The independent funeral director from Allcock Family Funeral Services in Norwich, recently completed the Great Glen Canoe trail, which runs between Banavie and Inverness in Scotland.

The 95km trip took three and a half days and the challenge was part of a year long fundraising campaign for mental health charity Mind.

Having never canoed before, Paul and his family began training on the Norfolk Broads for four weeks leading up to the trip.

Paul Allcock, director of Allcock Family Funeral Services in Norwich, said: “It was a real team effort from everyone in the Allcock family.

“Despite being slightly nervous before we started, we set out in good spirits. We were very fortunate with the weather and had calm waters across the three days which was a great help.

“It was an ambitious challenge and we completed half the course in the first two days which left us with just over 24km for the final day. It was a big push but we managed to finish in time for a quick swim in the freezing cold water before heading home.”

As President of the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), which represents over 870 independent funeral directors across the UK, Paul has chosen Mind as his charity of the year and hopes to raise a total of £10,000.

He added: “As a funeral director I see first-hand the emotional stress families face following the death of a relative or close friend. Mind is a dedicated charity which works hard to support people experiencing mental health ativan problems and I look forward to raising more money for them throughout the year.”

Victoria Urquhart, community fundraising co-ordinator at Mind, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Paul and his family for taking on this amazing challenge and choosing to fundraise for Mind.

“Taking on a 95km canoe challenge is not only an amazing achievement in itself, it has also raised money to fund Mind’s vital work. This includes the Mind Infoline, our advice services and the campaigning Mind does to secure a better deal for the one in four of us who experience a mental health problem every year.”

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