Roaring success at the Dragon Boat Race

July 2023

Two teams of intrepid WAY members – joined by another team of enthusiastic supporters from the law firm Irwin Mitchell – went head to head at the Kingston Upon Thames Dragon Boat Race last Sunday to help support young widows and widowers across the UK.

Team Colette taking part in Dragon Boat Race 2023 to raise money for WAY Widowed And Young

The event kicked off with a burst of excitement as the 43 fearless WAY paddlers and drummers raced against each other for the very first race of the day. The winning boat was #TeamColette (in the white T-shirts), helmed by WAY’s indomitable Head of Operations and Partnerships Colette Scarbrough-Jelfs. Their boat outpaced rivals #TeamEd and #IMWaterWarriors to secure victory by a few breathtaking seconds!

The day was a delightful spectacle of creativity and eccentricity! Imagine swan masks and Elvis wigs clashing with Hawaiian shirts and pirate costumes, all set to the infectious beats of the Hawaii 5-0 theme tune, booming from the banks of the River Thames!

Team Ed taking part in Dragon Boat Race 2023 to raise money for WAY Widowed And Young

And although #TeamEd – helmed by long-time WAY volunteer Ed Spooner – may have missed the top spot on the water, they are in the lead when it comes to fundraising. And everyone who took part or made a donation are winners in our eyes – helping to raise more than £5,000 for WAY Widowed and Young.

WAY’s Community Fundraiser Elanor McBay said: “Huge thanks to all WAY members, family and friends who gave up their Sunday to paddle, drum or cheer us on. It was a really great fun event – and I can’t wait to do it all again next year!”

Don’t miss out on the excitement! You can already sign up for next year’s event by emailing Elanor at

It’s not too late to support #TeamColette , #TeamEd or Irwin Mitchell by clicking on the team names.

Group of fundraisers at Dragon Boat Race 2023 raising money for WAY Widowed and Young

WAY relies on fundraising and generous donations, as well as membership fees, to help pay for vital services for our members – including our website and our 24-hour telephone service.

With your help, we can do so much more for our members and raise our profile too, so that more people who are widowed young can find out about our peer to peer support network.

Whether you are raising a few pounds to a few thousand pounds, it will all count towards helping WAY to keep helping all our members as well as helping bereaved people find us.