THOUSANDS of pounds are set to be raised for good causes thanks to two selfless Dorset kayakers.
Good friends Barry Ashdown, 39, and David Chalstrey, 42, will paddle across the channel from Cherbourg to Swanage in September.
The epic challenge will follow a kayak trip to the Scilly Isles in April and another to the Isle of Wight to collect even more funds ahead of their main mission.
It is hoped their overall efforts will raise between £15,000 and £20,000 which will be split between the Dorset Youth Association (DYA) and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Mr Chalstrey, director of Hardy Estate Agents Ltd and trustee of the DYA, said: “We are great friends and we are hoping to raise a lot of money for two brilliant causes.”
The pair met through Mr Chalstrey’s wife Nicki, who used to work as a police officer alongside Mr Ashdown.
Funds will be welcomed by the DYA, a registered charity to help improve the quality of life for children and young people in Dorset, which will celebrate its 70th birthday this year.
Mr Chalstrey, of Owermoigne, added: “As a trustee of the DYA, it is a charity close to me and this year it is celebrating its 70th birthday. We have also both lost loved ones to leukaemia in the past and wanted to help others who may be suffering.”
The pair will undertake the challenge in memory of their close friend Jo Palmer, who was diagnosed with Leukaemia and died last year.
Mr Ashdown, who lives in Wareham and works as a police officer in Swanage, also lost a loved one to the disease.
Sponsors Humphries Kirk, a Dorset-based solicitors, have already donated a generous amount to help the fundraising duo reach their target.
Mr Chalstrey is also inviting anyone who may have kayaked from France to Dorset before or heard of someone else completing the challenge to get in touch.
To donate visit the pair’s Facebook page Bowlers To You or email Back_To_Blighty@bowlerstoyou.co.uk