Novice kayakers ready to take on River Tweed

A businessman and a soldier will be taking to a kayak in a bid to navigate 97 miles of the mighty River Tweed.

Thursday, 7th June 2018, 9:02 am
Jamie Macleod and Nick Woolgar

Their aim is to raise at least £30,000 and prevent 300 veterans from becoming homeless.

Lt Col Nick Woolgar, 46, and investment manager Jamie MacLeod, 49, are undertaking the challenge to support Veterans Aid, a charity that provides immediate, practical support for ex-servicemen and women in crisis.

Both men are novices on the water – but no slouches in their chosen careers. Nick, who was commissioned into the 1721 st Lancers in 1991, has commanded Challenger tanks in Bosnia and led capacity-building teams in Somalia.

Jamie was MD of Scottish Widows Fund Management at 29 and is presently CEO of Bordier UK. He married and lived in Jedburgh.

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But between June 8 and 15, the men will be well out of their respective comfort zones.

Jamie said: “My concern is river conditions. The Tweed can be brutal and easily rise 10 feet or more in 24 hours after heavy rain. It can become dangerous after rising just two feet. This was a big decision for us. Prior to approaching VA, we studied the charity and its management team.

“We concluded that they were a very high-quality group of professionals, doing something special in a crowded charity environment. They have disciplined processes, tremendous transparency and they really care about helping veterans out of difficult situations. They do a lot more than ensuring ‘no first night out’ and what they have achieved in recent years is truly impressive.”

Nick added: “Despite having no experience, we will paddle (or carry!) our 14ft kayak the full distance over six days.”

Veterans Aid chief Dr Hugh Milroy said: “We have many supporters but what Nick and Jamie have undertaken is truly astounding.”

Their Just Giving site is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nick-woolgar