‘On a recent sun-laden, summer Sunday in Yorkshire…’ people we support, support workers and senior United Response staff teamed up to take part in York’s renowned annual Dragon boat race challenge.

The esteemed event, hosted by York Rotary Club, is in its seventeenth year and is a staple of the York summer calendar. Taking place on the River Ouse, crews of 16 paddlers and one drummer raced 250 metres down the course against two other teams in three heats across the day.

The aptly named United Response Rapids took part, supported by funding from The Clothworkers’ Foundation Small Sparks grant which covered all boating expenses, to highlight the invaluable work that we do in the area and underline our key link with the community, whilst simultaneously raising vital funds and our profile in the process. All participating teams were required to raise over £1,500 – a figure that the Rapids smashed – with one third going to the rotary club’s selected charity, this year being St Leonard’s Hospice, and the remaining amount going to United Response.

After completing all three races the Rapids hosted a party to celebrate and reward the hard work of all involved. As Jayne Glenton, our Area Manager for York, said:

“We had a really, really brilliant day. It is a lovely family-oriented event and was a great opportunity for us to get out there and raise our profile locally – we considered going as slowly as possible as Minister FM were commentating! All jokes aside we had a fantastic day and we are already excited to participate again next year!””

The Rapids team, which donned eye-catching Hawaiian shirts and distributed information from a luau-themed team base, comprised of local people linked with the organisation. This included skipper Ramsay Taylor, Service Manager of United Response’s successful Supported Employment services – recently visited by MP Rachael Maskell at Café West – which sits within the hugely popular York based training, employment and community services (URTEC).

In addition to URTEC, United Response provides a wide range of support in the York and Easingwold area, including supported living services and the incomparable Boot Shop – this year celebrating its 25th year!

To find out more about the support we offer in the York area, or to make a support enquiry, give us a call on 01904 541 722 or email info@unitedresponse.org.uk.