Amelia Goodwin and friends

The tragic death of a friend in a fire inspired four members of Hampton Sailing Club to fundraise for RoSPA.

Amelia Goodwin and friends Ellen, Jane and Annabel took on the mighty Thames in memory of Richard Hollands, who died in March 2013, aged 32.

Richard's untimely death was caused by a fire in his west London flat, which started whilst he was sleeping.

The four friends rowed the Great River Race, London's 22-mile river marathon, in September 2013. The annual event, which began in 1988, attracts a variety of crafts from dragonboats to skiffs, and competitors ranging from those who enjoy fun, fancy dress and charity stunts, to serious Olympic-level teams.

"It was a spectacular boat race up the River Thames, with over 300 crews from all over the globe," recalls Amelia.

"Friends cheered us on and we had a lump in our throats as we passed The Rutland Arms, a favourite place of Richard's at Chiswick Bridge, where we heard a cheer from a large group of Richard's close friends.

"We arrived at Richmond Bridge soon after 4pm, where Richard's parents John and Alison and their grandson Rex cheered us along for the final stretch."

The team finished in three hours and 24 minutes, beating their previous time by 16 minutes. They have so far raised £1285, which will be spent on a campaign Richard's mother, Alison is working with RoSPA on. It will be aimed at young people living in flats in London and will raise awareness of the dangers of fire.

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