Dragon Boat rowers tackle stereotypes

12 September 2016

Dragon Boat Race

Define us by our talents, not homelessness: that’s the message from young people who represented Porchlight in this year's Tonbridge Dragon Boat Race.

Despite having an average age of 20, the competitors have all experienced homelessness and now live at our young person's hostel in Tonbridge.

The Tonbridge Dragon Boat Race saw our residents and engineering company HV Wooding dress up as superheroes to take on 22 other teams in a boat supplied by estate agents Graham John. They managed to raise £750 for homeless and vulnerable people (and HV Wooding are planning further fundraising activities for Porchlight over the coming months).

For the people using Porchlight’s services, taking part in activities like the Dragon Boat Race can aid recovery. Many of them have experienced complex trauma and find it difficult to break the cycle of homelessness, and they’re encouraged to use their time meaningfully so they can regain a sense of purpose and start to re-engage with life.

The races took place along the River Medway, starting at Tonbridge Castle and finishing at the Big Bridge. It was the first time we've been involved in the Tonbridge Dragon Boat Race, which is now in its fourth year and is organised by the Tonbridge Town Team.