The Charity Oars Auction “End of an Era”

Well the day is fast approaching ……

The Date? 6th December 2018

The venue? Well it’s one of England’s finest Country Houses, it also happens to be owned by one of the signatories of the Charity Oars, and the chaps Nephews, well let’s just say “Royalty” ….. Yes, on the 6th December the Charity Oars are being auctioned at the wonderful Althorp House, home of Charles Spencer. We can’t wait …!

We’ve been extremely fortunate to have been offered the opportunity of joining in with the Testimonial Dinner of NCCC cheeky Aussie, Steven “Crooky” Crook …! Us cricketer’s are so imaginative with nicknames aren’t we.

In 2018 Crooky has been given a testimonial year as he hangs up his gloves, pads, bat and a very well worn hat…! We got to know Crooky over the years and his support for the Charity Oars has been so very welcomed, as has been the support of everyone at NCCC.

The evening is being hosted by (another) good friend of the Charity Oars, the one and only Rev Richard Coles, it’s going to be a fantastic evening, and it’s wonderful to be able to support Crooky and his “Runs4Funds” nominated charities as well as Thrombosis UK and others.

So, we started the Charity Oars awareness campaign in late 2014, and the Oars have since then taken on a life of their own. They’ve met Royalty, Sporting Legends, World famous actors, been to Parliament, been on stage with Billy Connolly, oh, they also met Boris Johnson (and discuss) LOL ….!

The idea behind the Charity Oars was to raise awareness of Thrombosis, to raise awareness of Thrombosis UK and their great work within Research, Care and Awareness of the “Number One Cause of Preventable Deaths in Hospital”. As the Charity Oars have (quietly) gone about their work, it has been inspiring, and at times worrying as to what is truly known about Thrombosis (DVT and Pulmonary Embolism), but with the awareness that we’ve been able to raise since 2014, we know of 12 lives that have been saved. This means, 12 families with a mother, father, brother, sister, grandparent, aunt, uncle or best friend. Not bad for two 8 foot pieces of wood…!

At this juncture, I want to send a “HUGE” thank you to my nephew, Jack Westerman. He made the Charity Oars by hand as part of his boat building course at the IBTC in Lowestoft. Not only are both the Charity Oars truly beautiful works of craftsmanship, but they are truly works of art. I’ve been truly proud to tell everyone whose met, signed or talked to us, that a skilled craftsman made both Charity Oars, by hand. Such skill, craftsmanship, creativity is something that does “NOT” run in my blood….!!

Thank you Jack, you make me so proud, every day …!

OK, gushiness done with.

Every penny raised will be donated with a cheery smile and a hearty salute of thanks. I’ve been asked many times recently; “Will you miss the Charity Oars?”

I will, there’s no denying it. For the past 4 years they’ve been such an important part of my life. They were the impetus that supported me since 2011, got me through some very dark days, got me talking again, gave me a goal, and, in many ways, saved me.

Knowing the impact that the Charity Oars have had in the wider circle, the lives that we’ve quite literally saved, the support, empathy, guidance and fun we’ve given has been huge. We’re now in the process of setting up a small company ( @rbractive) RBR is focused on Thrombosis research and clinical trials. We’ve been working in Partnership with one of the World’s most eminent Professors within Respiratory and Thrombolytic medicine. On the 11th April 2011 (PE day – 1) I would never have said that this would be my future life, my career path. So with that in mind, maybe the Massive Pulmonary Embolism that lead to me collapsing dead in the “ensuite of doom” actually wasn’t a bad thing.

To Ellisa, 9 days before we were to marry and I ended up a “tad” dead and naked in the ensuite of doom. Now, 7 years later, you’re my bastion of sanity, strength and love. To Jack and Tom, it takes a lot for me to die (the inheritance will have to wait … LOL), Steph, Liam, Chris, Collette, James and Shona. Thank you for your patience, support, love and understanding.

As for my parents, well, sorry to have scared you …!

We have no idea what the Charity Oars will raise on the 6th December, but have a look at the names below, and celebrate the support we’ve had from some amazing people.

If you’d like to make a bid, please drop me an email at put quite simply by many auctioneers; “there’s nothing like this anywhere”.

Make a bid, have something truly unique and (most importantly) support some amazing charities.

Thank you

Westers …!

Stephen Merchant           Miles Jupp                 Saif Zaib                     Will Satch

Devon Malcolm                Mathew Pinsent        Austin Healey            Joe Root     

Rory Kleinveldt                James Taylor            Craig Doyle                Paul Grayson

Oliver Phelps                   Dean Headley            Zoe Lee                      Simon Jones

Derek Redmund               Steve Coogan           Ian Stone                   Geraint Jones

Liam Plunkett                   Jonny Walton            Allen Lamb                Jos Buttler

Gary Balance                    Jeremy Sallis            James Phelps           Martin Corry      

Jordanne Whiley              Boris Johnson           David Murphy            Steven Crook

Gordon Greenidge           Rob Newton              Alex Wakely                Richard Levi

Jonny Bairstow                Martin Bayfield          Graeme White           Rob Keogh 

Muhammad Azharullah   Ellie Robinson           Helen Glover             Ben Duckett

Tanni Grey Thompson    David Willey                Maurice Chambers   Kyle Coetzer

Kumar Sangakkara         Charles Spencer           Billy Connolly            Alex Best 

Professor James Logan         Hannah Cockroft       Fern Britton           Ed Stanton

Doctor Dawn Harper               Michael Atherton      Ben Brown            Matt Lucas

Ashley Giles                             Ben Morgan               Sacha Harding       Harry Peck

Clare Balding                           James Pritchard        Brendan Burke      Lyn Brown

Richard Coles                          George Nash             Jason Gillespi       John Regis

Wojciech Szczesny                 Naseer Hussain         Jennifer Stoute     Rob Keys

Andrew Triggs Hodge            Dara O’Briain             Laura Bingham     Paul Young

Nick Robinson                         Alec Stewart              Jack Russell          Jade Jones

Andrew Gwynne                     Gyles Brandreth       Charlie Martell       Callum Hall