Castaway Challengers Raise £6K

A beachside challenge set up by a Dorset-based disability charity to help boost funds has proved so successful it will be held again next year.

Eight people accepted the Castaway Challenge from Diverse Abilities Plus and were put through their paces making their own shelters, building fires, purifying water and foraging for dinner.

Their efforts raised £6,000 for the charity which has now confirmed the event will go ahead in 2013.

The challengers spent five days stranded at a secret beach and woodland location on the south coast. Activities were held to keep the competitors occupied during daylight hours, such as learning survival techniques, sea life-raft survival skills training, and how to navigate by the stars.

The group included survival novices and outdoor enthusiasts.

Castaway Sue Robathan said:

''One of the main benefits of the five days was the community spirit that was experienced by all participants. Building our shelter, keeping warm and sharing nourishment became the common denominator to link very different people together to forge strong bonds. I would definitely recommend the Castaway Challenge to anyone.''

Challenger Tracie Dempster said:

 ''I am absolutely amazed that I made the whole event duration. I feel an enormous sense of achievement. I've learnt a lot about myself and in the process have raised a lot of money for charity and raised awareness.''

Diverse Abilities Plus, which helps children and adult with cerebral palsy, also received support for the Castaway Challenge from Powerboat Training UK, which provided sea transportation, and Sydenhams, which donated wood for the shelters.

Next year's Castaway Challenge takes place from September 21 to 25. To take part, call Sharon Wells on 01202 718266 or email