Fulfilling Kevin’s charity dream

NDFP Kevin Duckham sets off on his narrow boat.    On the Boat Kevin Duckham, Kayla Mead.  From to Back Buster the dog, Hilary Varley, David Varley, John Rayner, Trisha Silvers, Pete Cayger
NDFP Kevin Duckham sets off on his narrow boat. On the Boat Kevin Duckham, Kayla Mead. From to Back Buster the dog, Hilary Varley, David Varley, John Rayner, Trisha Silvers, Pete Cayger
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A devoted woman has raised £1,695 for charity in memory of her late partner - beating his £1,500 target.

Kayla Mead, aged 56, will donate the money to various charities, including £500 to St John’s Hospice, Balby, in memory of Kevin Duckham who died in October aged 61.

Kevin, of Intake, died just four months after he received the devastating news that he had stage four lung cancer – the most advanced form of the deadly disease.

Determined not to let his illness beat him, Kevin bought a narrowboat from Strawberry Island boat club on Milethorn Lane, near Wheatley, in August.

One month later he set off on a charity voyage. He had hoped to sail across the country and raise £1,500 for charity, including St John’s Hospice, along the way.

He also wanted to have other users of palliative care join him on his journey.

He had been travelling on his narrowboat, Daydream, with Kayla for just a few weeks when his condition deteriorated.

Sadly the fundraising target was not reached before his death on October 28, and he was unable to offer others trips on the boat.

However, Kayla is determined to carry on the fundraising in his memory.

She said: “I’ve had so many tributes, it’s unbelievable. They’re wonderful to read, he was so well-liked and thought of by so many.

“I am so sad and disappointed that he didn’t have long enough to reach his target. We weren’t ready for his death – he didn’t even reach the six month mark.

“Kevin reached the grand total of £980, there’s still £520 to go. So, I would like to finish this part of his dream journey in his memory.”

So far, Kayla has managed to exceed this target and raise an extra £715.

Remembering her partner of 26 years, she said: “He was a very special man. He was a real explorer of life, filled with wanderlust and the love of travel, he would try anything.

“He liked adventure and had a wicked sense of humour.

“He loved Daydream, it was one of the best things in his life – giving him so much pleasure; a feeling of peace and closeness to nature.

“He would thank everyone for their amazing support and he would be humbled by the amount of people who have donated.”

A celebration of Kevin’s life will be held on board Daydream on Sunday, December 6 in Barrow-on-Trent.

You can still donate online by visiting www.justgiving.com/Kevin-Duckham