Making waves for charity

Matthew Garner setting off with his dad, Russell
Matthew Garner setting off with his dad, Russell

A CONVOY of jet skiers – including a 15-year-old with cerebral palsy – ploughed the waves to make a splash for charity.

Matthew Garner was all smiles as he boarded a jet ski with his dad, Russell, 48, before they rode the surf for 27 miles from Hartlepool to Whitby.

Matthew Garner pictured with dad Russell pictured with the team before setting off on their jet ski trip to Whitby

Matthew Garner pictured with dad Russell pictured with the team before setting off on their jet ski trip to Whitby

Just before setting off on a bright Saturday morning, Matthew, told the Mail: “This is really exciting and I am looking forward to doing it.”

The teenager took part in the feat along with 10 other members of Hartlepool Yacht Club at the marina on jet skis and inflatable boats, including Matthew’s mum, Gillian, 46.

It made an impressive supercharged sight as they headed at 25mph along the coastline to raise money for physiotherapy charity Heel To Toe.

The team then spent an hour in Whitby before setting off back to Hartlepool.

“Matthew has been looking forward to this for weeks,” said proud dad Russell, a production manager with printing firm Harrison Packaging, in Stockton.

“We are all members of Hartlepool Yacht Club and we normally just potter about here, but we decided to go for it. We just fancied going to Whitby.”

Matthew regularly receives physiotherapy at Heel to Toe which is based in Framwellgate Moor, Durham City, and offers free treatment to any child who has cerebral palsy, dyspraxia or any other motor disorder.

Mum Gillian said: “Russell is very sporty and Matthew keeps fit and active. He does horse riding and canoeing as well.”

Steve Blyth, a yacht club committee member who organised the trip, said: “We have been planning this for about four months and it is the first time we have done anything like this but we could do a longer one in the future to support Help For Heroes.”

There to see off Matthew, a student at Abbey Hill School in Stockton, were his grandparents Brian, 68, and Audrey Graham, 67, from Easington.

Brian, a bus driver based in Durham, said: “We are really proud of Matthew. I took a sponsorship form round the lads at work and they have backed this.”

Russell, from Low Grange in Billingham, added: “We have already raised about £400 to £500 for it and I think we should eventually get to around £1,000.

“We get Matthew out and about as much as we can. He loves jet skiing.”