Local lad to row the Atlantic in support of The Prostate Cancer Charity

Marks & Spencer employee, ex-Royal Marine and local lad, Graham Witham, is weeks away from undertaking a once-in-a-lifetime challenge as he and three other ex-Marines attempt to row across the Atlantic to raise £75,000 for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

From mid-December, the four-man boat, named HM&S Twiggy, will be departing the Canary Islands for Barbados in the Caribbean. The boat has been granted special dispensation from Buckingham Palace to bear 'HM' and is the smallest 'ship' in Her Majesty's naval fleet.

Depending on conditions, the potentially six to eight week journey will see each member of the team row 35 nautical miles over 12 hours every day, burning an astonishing 7000 calories in the process - the equivalent of eating 5 full pepperoni pizzas.

Braving difficult mid-Atlantic weather conditions and pushing his body to its physical limits will be relatively easy compared to the sorts of things Graham saw in his 7 years in the Royal Marines.

Since committing themselves to this challenge, Graham and his crewmates have raised over £35,000 for the charity by hosting a range of fundraising activities, including three rowathons in London, Southhampton and Bournemouth.  This month, they will aim to raise an additional £5000 selling raffle tickets.

Graham Witham commented: "It's not long to go until we row and I'm hugely excited. It's definitely going to be a challenge but we have a great team and fantastic support. We shall continue to raise as much as possible for The Prostate Cancer Charity as it is such a worthwhile cause."

Marc Bolland, Chief Executive of M&S, commented: "The challenge that Graham and his crewmates have set themselves is truly remarkable - I truly admire their effort. Not only are they helping to raise money for and awareness of the important work that The Prostate Cancer Charity does, but I'm personally hoping that they will also inspire M&S colleagues and customers across the UK to get involved. We can't all row across the ocean but we can act in other meaningful ways, whether it's volunteering your time, fundraising or making a small donation to a favourite charity."

Owen Sharp, Chief Executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity, said: "We are very excited for Graham in the build up to his impressive challenge in support of The Prostate Cancer Charity. His Herculean endeavour exemplifies the superb spirit in which M&S employees have taken this partnership to their hearts and made it such a success. We wish Prostate Marksmen every possible success with their voyage and look forward to following their journey."


Supporters can go to www.prostatemarksmen.com to make a donation or follow their journey in real-time via their blog, Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/prostatemm) or Facebook page.