Teens pull together for river rowing challenge

Team Dexter - teenagers from Dacorum rowed part of the Thames to raise cash for a children's charity as part of National Citizen Service.
Team Dexter - teenagers from Dacorum rowed part of the Thames to raise cash for a children's charity as part of National Citizen Service.
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Teenagers completed a rowing challenge on the Thames to raise £1,000 for a children’s charity as part of a four-week summer scheme.

The 14 youngsters – all from Dacorum and aged 16 and 17 – were taking part in the National Citizen Service, a government-run scheme that takes teenagers on action-packed and skills building courses.

The programme ends with participants devising and completing a project to improve the local community.

On Wednesday Team Dexter – a name the group came up with after one of its members Hector Sinzinkayo was accidentally called Dexter by others – rowed from Richmond Bridge to Hampton Court Palace and back, covering around 10 miles to raise money for CHIPS – a Hertford-based charity that runs play schemes for children with additional needs. They started the task at 10.30am and did not finish until 4pm.

Team leader Lucy Smith, 22, said: “It went really well and they did a great job. It just gives a good press to young people because they get to give back to their community and prove they’re not that bad after all, because so often 16 and 17 year olds are given a bad name.”

The group, which raised funds through sponsorship and other activities, was made up of Hector Sinzinkayo, Madhushika Fernando, James Saunders, Patrick Harper, Katie Ryan, Georgia Pakalniskis, Demi Mcqueeney, Courtney Clark, Craig Woollard, Adam Gill, Yasser Kahn, Vanessa Stidever, Robert Murray and Luke Hobbs. They will be helping out at one of the charity’s play scheme sessions on Saturday where they will get messy doing hand printing on T-shirts with little ones.