A FATHER is set to take on the challenge of rowing 21 miles to raise funds for a charity set up in the name of his son.
Steve Codling, 44, from Caspar John Close, Stubbington, lost his son, Charlie, to an inoperable brain tumour back in 2012, just two days before his fifth birthday.
He and his wife, Karen, 43, then set up Charlie’s Beach Hut Find in their son’s memory, which provides a week’s holiday for ten families of children with life-limiting illnesses each summer.
It costs the family £10,000 a year to run and in a bid to raise funds, Steve will take to the River Thames next month to take part in the 21-mile Great River Thames Race.
The event, on September 3, will take place just a few days before the fourth anniversary of Charlie’s death.
Steve said: ‘At the moment, the charity is doing really well as we’ve had lots of ideas.
I know that I’m doing this to honour Charlie and I’m sure he will be on my mind when we’re on the waterSteve Codling
‘Graham Street and Ian Douglas from Portsmouth Rugby Club came to us with the idea for the race and I thought let’s just go for it!’
Steve’s team are looking to raise £5,000 from the event.
For Steve, taking part in the event is one way of making things easier for him, with the anniversary so close.
He added: ‘It does help things easier for me and it helps us to get on with things.
‘I know that I’m doing this to honour Charlie and I’m sure he will be on my mind when we’re on the water.’
The couple’s five-year-old daughter Freya was just two when Charlie died.
She has acted as a huge source of support to the couple in the years since Charlie’s passing according to Karen.
Karen said: ‘Freya still talks about Charlie sometimes but it is more of her memories of us talking about him, so he still lives on in her memory.
‘When we lost Charlie, Freya was the reason for us to get out of bed in the morning so she’s become a strong support.’
She added that the charity is going strong, four years after getting started.
Steve’s eight-man team consists of himself, Graham, Ian, Steve James, Ben Cuming, Kamal Bakker, Michelle Cuming, Mark Witcher.
To donate to the charity’s fundraising page head to uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/rowforcharlie.