16 year-old Amelia Britten from Crickhowell is preparing to take on a 100 mile canoe challenge to raise money for three charities that she is very passionate about.

Amelia’s challenge is set to take place in July later this year. She is hoping to raise £3,000 that will be spread evenly between three charities; the Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau, The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust (CAFT), and Holly Hedge Animal Rescue.

Amelia, who says she loves helping people and the world told The Abergavenny Chronicle why she chose these charities. She said: “The Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau is a local charity that I have been involved with for many years. The work that Kerry and the volunteers do is incredible and our community is extremely lucky. 

“CAFT is the second charity that I am fundraising for. The work they do is outstanding. CAFT support children who are disabled or at a social disadvantage, and give them experience days and a break from their everyday lives.

“Finally, Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary, who are based in Bristol inspired me after seeing their Facebook posts about some dogs for adoption. I instantly fell in love with the animals and the sanctuary’s work.”

A spokesperson from Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary spoke about Amelia’s upcoming challenge. They said: “We are so grateful to Amelia, for doing this incredible fundraiser for Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary. We are always amazed at the different types of ways money is raised for the animals at HH. 100 miles canoeing is just brilliant and we can't thank her enough. 

“Holly Hedge is an independent Animal Sanctuary, relying on public donations only. HH first opened its gates 31 years ago, by Pauline Leeson. Her dream was to provide a safe haven for cats and dogs, and today Pauline and the team still actively rescue and rehome approximately 800 animals per year.

“Without supporters like Mia, we wouldn't be able to help the sick, injured and unwanted animals.  Covid hit the Sanctuary hard, and it has been followed by the 'cost of living crisis'. Last year our vets bills were around £115,000 by the end of this financial year we estimate it to be well over £200,000!

“Thank you Amelia, from all the unwanted, beautiful souls at Holly Hedge.” Being an ambitious individual with a passion for fundraising, Amelia has already completed multiple fundraising efforts, including cycling 41 miles in 5 hours, walking 17, 000 steps every day for 2 months, and climbing a mountain three times in one day, which she says was her most crazy challenge yet. Amelia said: “By far, it was the most difficult challenge but it was worth it. I raised a total of £685 for Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk. I usually have some of my family join in on my challenges because without them they wouldn’t be possible.

“It all started four years ago when I took part in my first fundraiser. I didn’t organise this one, however it’s what sparked my love for fundraising and making the world a better place. Since then I have aimed to do two fundraisers every year for various charities.”

Amelia got the idea for her upcoming fundraiser from completing her silver DofE award, where she canoed on the River Wye. She hopes this 100 mile challenge will improve her canoeing skills and provide a lot of fun: “I actually cannot wait to do this. I have never been more excited for a fundraiser than this one. I’m not going to lie I have not done much preparation yet, however; I’m hoping to go and do some training days leading up to the big week.“  

If you would like to support Amelia’s fundraising efforts, please follow the link below:

Links to the charities Amelia is supporting:  

·       The Crickhowell Volunteer Bureau ( https://www.crickhowellvolunteerbureau.co.uk)

·       CAFT - The Children’s Adventure Farm Trust ( https://caft.co.uk)

·       Holly Hedge Animal Rescue (https://hollyhedge.org.uk