01 Jul Wanstead man set to be the first person to kayak the longest lake in the world
21 year old Ben Harris, a Geography student from Wanstead, is set to be the very first person to kayak the length of Lake Tanganyika in Eastern Africa; the longest freshwater lake in the world.
This month (July) Ben will be kayaking 672km from the lake’s most Southern point to it’s most Northern point and wild camping as he travels in order to complete his expedition. Despite this being his biggest challenge yet, Ben isn’t a stranger to an adventure and has previously cycled solo from Wanstead to Barcelona, and canoed with the National Cadets in Canada.
His ambitious efforts are all for a great cause as he’ll be raising money for the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint and the homeless young people they support. To donate to Ben visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/expeditiontanganyika.
Fearless Ben shared why he’s decided to take on this record breaking challenge:
“Believe it or not, this is my first major kayaking expedition. I love the challenge of these expeditions and feel a big achievement from enduring and completing them.
“Growing up in London you’re too used to seeing and hearing about homelessness and me and my family have always felt strongly about helping out homeless people when we can.”
Before the pandemic, youth homelessness was already at a crisis point. Between 2019 – 2020, around 8,500 young people were facing homelessness in London. Centrepoint expects that these numbers have increased due to the pandemic. Over the past year calls to the charity’s Helpline from young people experiencing homelessness, or worried about homelessness, have increased by a third compared to the previous year.
Sarah Squires, Community and Events Fundraising Manager, from Centrepoint explained how important Ben’s efforts are:
“We are so grateful that Ben is taking on this challenge of a lifetime to raise money for Centrepoint and the homeless young people we support.
“It’s a critical time for vulnerable young people as many have lost their jobs and are struggling to pay their rent. With Ben’s help we can support young people on the brink of homelessness and those who are already without a stable home, and help them turn their lives around.”
The money raised this year will go towards the Centrepoint hostels that provide homeless young people safe and stable accommodation, support for homeless young people’s physical and mental health and access to training and education.
To donate to Ben visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/expeditiontanganyika. To follow Ben’s journey follow him on Instagram @thatsonebiglake