Monday, May 20th, 2024

Watch 5 year old Charlie raising money as part of Otford charity Hospices of Hope “ROW-Mania”

Otford charity Hospices of Hope recently launched their latest fundraising challenge – “ROW-mania” – to raise funds towards the salaries of nurses for the hard-hit Hospice Casa Sperantei, in Romania. Following on from the launch, Sam Barnett PR and Marketing assistant at Otford, shared some photos and videos to update us on one of her colleagues’ efforts.

In the first video you can see five year old Charlie from Sidcup as he commentates on his mum Clare’s first attempt

In the second he is taking part himself in his paddling pool with spoons as oars and thoroughly enjoying himself!


Graham Perolls, CMG, OBE, (now back at the helm after recovering from the Covid-19 virus) lead the “ROW-mania” challenge on 14th May 2020 (see Graham’s video clip at – using a child’s inflatable dinghy and two pieces of wood found in the garden!).

The “ROW-mania” challenge was to row for 10 hours (an hour a day) and raise at least £100. You did not have to leave home to do this. All you needed was a boat (either a rowing machine or an improvised model(!) – a couple of planks of wood and a couple of broom handles will do!) The distance from London to Romania is 1,500 miles and the charity wanted at least 150 people to join in and help Graham cover this distance.

Explaining the reason for the challenge prior to the launch, sixty nine year old Graham said:

If at least 150 people sign up to the challenge and raise £100 each we would be able to pay for a specialist hospice nurse in Romania.

I understand that at present people’s main focus is on the crisis facing the charity sector over here but the situation in Romania and other countries where we work is grave.

Recently, Romania discharged nearly all cancer patients from hospitals to make way for Coronavirus patients. This included a 13 year old boy with a brain tumour who was in terrible pain. Our hospice doctor visited him and quickly brought the pain under control, so much so that he asked his mother why he still needed to take morphine when it did not hurt any more. He spent Easter happily playing on his X box with his brother. But many other patients across the country are feeling completely abandoned.

Our hospices are concentrating on home care visits and in-patient care. An additional member in the nursing team would make a significant difference to the number of seriously ill patients we can care for.”

Hospices of Hope’s projects in South East Europe are facing a huge loss of income and the charity is worried that services for people with terminal illness will have to close. In the UK, its charity shops have had to close and fundraising events have been decimated. Unlike many charities operating over here, Hospices of Hope is not entitled to the support for charities announced by the government.

For more information on “ROW-mania” please visit or contact

Use this link for a potted history about Hospices of Hope’s 30 years’ work:

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