Paddle-boarding therapist makes a splash for charity

24th August 2023

Bournemouth children’s speech and language therapist Rachel Harrison has paddle-boarded the River Thames to raise awareness of developmental language disorder (DLD).

Rachel, who works for Dorset HealthCare, completed the 130-mile challenge in ten days, starting at Lechlade inRachel with her DLD Mouse mascot.jpg Gloucestershire and ending in Teddington in London.

And she generated more than £700 for the charity RADLD (Raising Awareness of Developmental Language Disorder) in the process.

Around one in 14 people have DLD, which causes on-going difficulties understanding and/or using spoken language. There is no known cause for the condition, but there is thought to be a genetic element for some people.

It can be a particular problem for children and young people, so Rachel was accompanied on the journey by her DLD mouse mascot, who posted daily updates on social media to let everyone know how their challenge was progressing.

She said: “It was such an amazing adventure, supported by my friends, family and the DLD community.

“I paddle-boarded through some beautiful places and enjoyed the journey, trying not to just focus on the destination. This was particularly difficult on one day though, as I was paddling for almost ten-and-a-half hours straight with the wind against me.

“I’m so glad to have done it and hope I’ve raised some awareness for DLD, as well as money for the charity.”

To read more about Rachel’s story visit her JustGiving page. You can also look back at journey on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.   

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