12 Mar 2014

Target ahoy! Atlantic Odyssey raises more than £10,000 for therapeutic patient garden

David Gregg

Last year we featured an article about fundraiser David Gregg as he embarked on a transatlantic voyage – sailing from Las Palmas in Gran Canaria to St Lucia in the Caribbean.

Clocking up some 2800 nautical miles, David’s voyage honoured the memory of Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple, and raised funds for the charity set up in his remembrance, Horatio’s Garden. We had a chat with David, a trustee at the charity, to find out the highlights of his exciting trip.

Rolling with dolphins

“They played in the bow wave and swam beside us for 20 minutes or so, with the occasional spectacular leap from the waves. The dolphins seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we enjoyed watching them.” Excerpt from David’s blog.

Along with the ups and downs of the Atlantic waves, the trip brought great surprises and challenges. The highlights included, David says: “Some excellent sailing, an incredible 20-minute visit from a large pod of dolphins, the amazing night skies filled with so many more stars than ever seen at land, and getting into St Lucia after almost 18 days at sea.”

David recalls the few low points from the voyage. He muses: “We had some poor weather at times in the first week, and on the 10th evening we hit something in mid-ocean, which was quite scary. Fortunately, no serious damage was sustained by the boat.”

Building a new garden of tranquillity

David’s voyage has, to date, raised more than £10,000 for Horatio’s Garden. The charity was set up to build gardens of beauty for patients at spinal treatment centres – a project that was first envisaged by 17-year old Horatio. Sadly, following a tragic accident on an Arctic expedition, Horatio did not live to see his plans come to fruition.

The first garden was built at the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre in Salisbury, where Horatio was a volunteer. The funds raised from this voyage have been earmarked for a second feasibility study, this time at Middlesborough Hospital.

It all helps

David was delighted by a few big donations, which helped to get his fundraising mission on the move.

He said: “However, I was most touched by some smaller contributions from boys at school or others who gave what they could. Lots of little donations soon mount up into quite a substantial total.”

David’s courageous adventure raised, to date, £9,312. With Gift Aid collected by MyDonate, this has been boosted to a staggering £10,620.

You can donate to David’s fundraising page

Find out more about Horatio’s Garden and their gardens for patients at spinal treatment centres.

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