Retired Army Major’s Boating Challenge for Ukraine Charity

A retired army major is setting sail in a homemade tin boat to raise funds for a Ukraine charity.

Michael Stanley will launch his rowing boat ‘Tintanic II’ on the rivers and seas of southern England in a bit to collect at least £5,000 for Children on the Edge, a charity based in Moldova and Romania supporting refugees from the war in Ukraine.

Last year, the 81-year-old known locally as ‘Major Mick’, completed one hundred miles rowing at 2mph twice a week along the Chichester Canal – and a further one hundred miles at 20 locations across the country, raising thousands of pounds for charity.

In his latest challenge, Mr Stanley will launch ‘Tintanic II’ from Chichester Yacht Club for the first leg of his journey. Other stages of his adventure will take him to the Beaulieu River in the New Forest, the River Medina on the Isle of Wight and the Serpentine in Hyde Park, London.

Mr Stanley, who served in the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards for 35 years, said: “Having done the canals, I want to do something a bit more salty, a bit more edgy, so this year I am taking to the sea.

“I have a target of £5,000 because all of my friends have already given and perhaps people are a bit harder up than they were before.

“But anyway, we are all having a lot of fun and it’s fun for me and I really enjoy talking to people when I’m out and about.”

He was moved to help the children of Ukraine after seeing images from the war-torn country, saying: “We have seen such terrible pictures on the television and people are in absolute dire straits and anything I can do to help in a very small way will go some way to helping.”

Mr Stanley said he had an open target of about fifty miles for the challenge, depending on the weather. He is confident that ‘Tintanic II’ was up to the job and added: “It’s very seaworthy, I have made a few alterations, the cross beam is now made of oak rather than plywood and it’s pretty robust.”

Children on the Edge provide safe places for arrivals into Moldova and Romania with food, clothing, laundry facilities and beds for Ukrainian refugees. The charity also helps refugees to plan their onward journeys, and access emotional and trauma support.

To donate to Major Mick’s fundraiser, visit his JustGiving page.