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Community / Four days rowing down the Thames for MND charity

Glenn Tonner will row more than 80 miles in a boat he made himself during lockdown

Glenn Tonner made the rowing boat himself during lockdown.

A SHETLAND man is preparing to row a homemade boat he made during lockdown more than 80 miles down the River Thames – sleeping on board too – to raise money for charity in memory of his mum.

Glenn Tonner will travel 83 miles between his home – Goring on Thames – to his work at Regent Street in London to raise money and awareness for MND Scotland.

His mother passed away from the disease in 2012, aged only 52, and Glenn is looking to give something back in the fight against the condition, which has no cure.

Glenn – who is originally from Yell and has had a career at sea – expects to undertake the challenge in December, and he reckons it would take under four days to complete. He managed 21 miles last Friday as a test.

Glenn’s home for those four days will be a folding boat he made himself when the pandemic struck. Ever resourceful, he sought to use wood from wherever he could find it – including a neighbour’s chopping board to make oars.

“During the first lockdown in the UK I built a 9ft folding boat in my garden,” he explained.

“I used salvaged and reclaimed materials including wood from a nearby restaurant renovation, ash from a friend’s garden, and a neighbour’s chopping board to make oars.”

The boat has a name – rather aptly, it is called Lockdown – and it is a British registered vessel.

MND Scotland is the leading charity in Scotland providing care and support to people affected by Motor Neurone Disease (MND), as well as funding vital research into finding a cure.

MND is a rapidly progressing terminal illness, which stops signals from the brain reaching the muscles.

People can donate to the fundraiser here.

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