Charity Castaways Survive Five-Day Challenge and Raise Vital Funds

Charity Castaways Survive Five-Day Challenge and Raise Vital Funds

Survivors of the third Castaway Challenge, organised by Diverse Abilities, have returned to their home comforts after a five-day survival challenge of a lifetime. The event saw 12 men and women stranded at a secret location on the south coast, in aid of the Dorset-based charity disability charity.

The challenge began with a bonding night at the Bay View Hotel, part of the Quantum Group which also includes the Cottonwood Boutique, Ocean View and Total Health Studio, all of which sponsored the event. The group of castaways then headed to the ‘secret location’ the following day on boats, kindly sponsored and supplied by Powerboat Training UK and Poole Boat Hire.

The castaways swapped life’s luxuries for bare basics as they learnt vital survival and bushcraft skills at a picturesque beach and woodland location. The group built their own shelter, purified water, lit fires and foraged for dinner as part of the survival challenge to raise funds to continue supporting children and adults with disabilities, and their families, in Dorset.

The challenge kept survivors occupied from dusk until dawn with a variety of fun activities including learning valuable survival techniques, building a natural shelter, fire lighting techniques, sea life-raft survival skills training, navigating by the stars, water purification, sea fishing and much more.

Sharon Wells, Events Fundraiser for Diverse Abilities, said: “Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and had lots of fun during the group activities and sharing once in a lifetime experiences. The participants did really well and spirits remained very high. Everyone bonded well as a team and there were lots on laughs along the way.”

Participant Ali Burridge, from Octopus Personnel, said: “This experience has not only taught me a lot of things about survival but it also taught me that I have an inner strength I didn’t know existed. The friends I have made will continue to be in my life and the skills I have gained will be with me forever.”

Fellow survivor Melanie Baldwin, from Christchurch and East Dorset Councils, said: “I took part in the Castaway challenge to raise money for Diverse Abilities.  The adventure proved to be exciting, challenging, fun and very rewarding.  I left the island with lots of new friends, a new outlook on life and a huge amount of new skills.  The event was very well organised, full of surprises and I smiled constantly for five days.  We all had such a giggle, while raising money for an amazing charity! If you are thinking about being a castaway in 2015, think no more – just do it!  You won’t regret it.”

Next year’s Castaway Challenge is taking place from Saturday 19 September to Wednesday 23 September 2015, which is now open for bookings. Entry is £50 and minimum sponsorship is £550 per person. Diverse Abilities provide full support to every participant who signs up to the event, to help them achieve their fundraising target.

The charity organises many other types of exciting events including an adventure run, abseiling, tandem skydiving and paragliding, race nights, a Rugby Lunch, a Dragon Boat Race and great overseas events, providing everyone from all walks of life the opportunity to do something fun and exciting while raising funds for a good cause.

For further information contact Sharon Wells on 01202 718266 or email


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