Nomad Launches 25th Anniversary 25 Mile English Channel Row

2021 marks the 25th Anniversary of the NOMAD Youth and Community Project and to kick off a special year long of fundraising, the NOMAD Team will be challenging themselves to row across the English Channel (approx 25 miles) on an ergo rowing machine on Friday 14 May.

Launched in May 1996 through a joint initiative between, Henley Churches Together, Henley Town Council, and Henley Youth Centre, as a response to issues of anti-social behaviour in Henley, NOMAD has become a well-respected local charity offering support to young people and families who sometimes find themselves facing challenging situations.

Over the years the charity has supported hundreds of young people and families delivering activities that have included mentoring and Life Skills Programmes in local schools, youth clubs, detached work, football sessions, community beach trips and fun days on local parks, residential trips to Snowdonia, Shropshire, Wales and even as far as Poland, Malawi, and the Pyrenees.   They have also supported young people and parents in education, run parenting programmes, helped and signposted people with housing, budgeting and financial needs and set up the Henley Food Bank.

In this unprecedented past 12 month, the charity has continued to support young people and families through online mentoring, one to one work and regular ‘lock-down challenges’.  The Food Bank has seen a 300% increase in the number of food parcels delivered compared with the previous year.  Approximately 3000 bags of food were packed and sent out to support individuals and families across all ages.  Tim Prior from NOMAD said, “We would like to say a huge thank you to all those who have supported us throughout this last year with donations of food, money, and volunteer time.  These include, individuals, families, street collections, schools, churches, community groups, and local businesses. It has truly been a demonstration of support for NOMAD within the community and this is a theme we would like to continue and carry forward as we celebrate 25 years.”

The Nomad Rowing the Channel Challenge is a sponsored event, and they would love as many people to take part as possible.  The NOMAD team taking on the challenge will be Tim Prior, Sue Prior, Angela Face and Jaco Bruwer.   Looking ahead to the challenge Sue said, “I’m looking forward to the challenge, but this isn’t just about NOMAD, this is for the children, young people and families we support now and in the future.  Life has become doubly hard for many in the wake of the COVID pandemic, can the people of Henley  raise their efforts once again to help us continue that support”.

Leander Club have kindly loaned one of their ergos for the use of the challenge and former Leander Captain and Double Olympic medallist Debbie Flood has helped launched the challenge by recording the video below.  The NOMAD team are also recruiting a team of young people to also row 25 miles in relay on an ergo they have purchased too.  They will be recording both teams’ progress on a map and via an app.

Debbie Flood said, “If you have access to a rowing machine why not join us, by either rowing the full distance in one day like us, spreading it out over the month of May, it does not matter. If you could sponsor the Nomad team to complete this challenge, they would be very grateful. All money raised will go towards supporting the Nomad Youth and Family support programmes within our community.”

This challenge will be the first of several events planned throughout 2021 details of which will be announced in due course.

NOMAD would also like to hear from anyone who has benefited from the charity over the years and would like to join in the celebrations with them.

If you would like to sponsor the NOMAD Team or take part in the row, donations can be made via  For further information please contact Tim Prior on or phone 01491 635734


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