Seonaid and Stephen from Sturgeon walk the Thames Path to fund raise for the RNLI

Thank you to everyone for donating to the Sturgeon Ventures/Aquapac Thames Walk Challenge for the RNLI bringing awareness to London of the River Thames RNLI Stations.

This challenge came from the CEO of Aquapac to Sturgeon some months ago, Aquapac’s target is to raise £70,000 throughout the year to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee.

Thames Path Walk on behalf of the RNLI

We at Sturgeon Ventures love a challenge, and Seonaid produced the idea of walking the Thames Path to celebrate the stations along the Thames. The river stations are the busiest in the whole of the RNLI and Waterloo and Chiswick are manned 24/7. Seonaid set about aiming to raise £7,000 – 10% of the total as her own goal. Seonaid had a Mental Health Foundation which ended this year and part of the wind up donation was given to this challenge. Seonaid believes walking by water, with or without a dog is great for mental health and during her many training walks has connected with many strangers and chatted about life.

Great support on the way for Seonaid and Massimo

Seonaid and her dogs began the challenge on Friday 1st July at 6am and met Massimo, CEO of Aquapac along with some of his colleagues and Lawrence Dallaglio at Wood Quay the RNLI station at Waterloo. Lawrence lost his sister in The Marchioness Disaster in 1989, his mother Eileen Dallaglio then petitioned the RNLI for 12 years to ensure the river was safe for others. The river stations opened in January 2002, so the challenge coincided with a 20th anniversary. We were thrilled to see The Silver Sturgeon which is owned by the Wood Family who were also involved with the start of The Thames Clipper. Tom Wood was a brilliant host and ensured everyone involved was refreshed and ready to go. The CEO and Co-Founder of Thames Clipper Sean Collins was there to wave the team off at 8.15am followed by the ITN News team.




Stephen Butler from our Fund Monitoring Team joined Seonaid at Putney. ITN News filmed the team on Hammersmith bridge as this is one of the bridges which tragically has the highest rate of suicide attempts. Lawrence Dallaglio left us here to get some rest before his next charity event on July 2nd abseiling down Twickenham Rugby Stadium.

After leaving Chiswick, the team had a pit stop at the Ship pub in Mortlake for extra refreshments and took time to hand out cards to everyone they met explaining the challenge and what they were hoping to raise. One such person was none other than Jon Snow, the well-known newsreader, who said the Marchioness was a tragedy most will never forget and what a great idea it was celebrating the River Thames RNLI stations.

Final steps on the Thames Walk

The final hour from Richmond Bridge to Teddington RNLI was the hardest. After 8 hours of walking Seonaid’s feet were sore and our 4 legged friends were exhausted.

At the end of the walk, Seonaid reflected that it had been a humbling experience learning all about the work of the 80,000 volunteers that work across this charity, and a pleasure to have spent time with Lawrence Dallaglio and hearing how his family’s loss turned into such a positive legacy. Lawrence spoke of his mother Eileen’s moto that has passed down to him is the importance of leaving people and places in a better way during your lifetime. He now has his own charity getting children who are expelled from school back into school and jobs through sport.

Note: Aquapac a British Manufacturing Company was founded by Massimo Malavasi, when he came up with a bag to protect electronics 39 years ago from water, before they were waterproof. He has gone on to develop several a range of products to protect equipment from water. He is now working with the RNLI on some new projects. Seonaid and Massimo walk their dogs together most weekends, which is how the challenge came up…….two entrepreneurs will always dream up challenges…..

Aquapac –

Great thoughts from Lawrence when he arrived in Chiswick –

Learn more about fund raising with Lawrence’s network –

ITN News on Friday Night, a tiny proof Seonaid was there…….. Link coverage start at 12′ 45 seconds