Paul and Phil take on the Atlantic Dream Challenge

1 firefighter, 1 businessman. 3000 miles. 2 charities. 1 boat…

Everyone who raises money for Tiny Lives is a hero in our eyes, but there are some who truly go above and beyond to raise vital funds.

Paul Hopkins, a firefighter from Wallsend and Phil Pugh, a businessman from Newcastle, have joined forces to take on a truly gruelling challenge in the name of two great local causes, Tiny Lives and The Firefighters Charity.

This December they’ll be rowing 3000 nautical miles across the Atlantic, racing against others and dealing with sea sickness, blisters, salt rash, sleep deprivation and horrendous weather conditions, all in the name of charity.

Tiny Lives holds a special place in Phil’s heart, as his son Tom was born prematurely and spent many weeks in the Special Care Baby Unit. Through his other fundraising works Phil has raised upwards of £10,000 for Tiny Lives and the Calvert Trust, but the Atlantic Dream Challenge looks to be his toughest yet.

The pair, who were introduced by friends just before beginning their challenge, are currently undertaking a strict training regime to ensure they’re fighting fit and have their eyes peeled for a corporate sponsor to help them with the considerable expense of entering the race.

By taking on the entrance fees, a sponsor would greatly reduce the expenses encountered by the two rowers, meaning that more of the money raised can go to directly to the charities, rather than being swallowed up by fees.

When they’re not strapped to the rowing machine, you might spot Paul and Phil out and about at various fundraising events across the region, often accompanied by fire engines! Make sure to stop and say hello.

You can follow their epic journey and keep updated on their progress via their Facebook and Twitter pages, and donate here.

Good luck lads!

PS – A big thank you to MTrec, who have kindly sponsored the stylish Tiny Lives active wear vests, modelled here by Paul and Phil!

Paul and Phil (Atlantic Dream Challenge) 3