MD of Improve International raises more than £1,300 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People on 135 mile canoe trip


David Babington with son, Alex Babington

David Babington MRCVS and MD of CPD company Improve International has raised more than £1,000 for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People by completing a 135 mile paddle in a Canoe from Cricklade-on-Thames, the highest navigable point on the river, to Teddington, Middlesex.  The funds will be used to sponsor the training of a puppy.

David completed the journey with his 16 year old son Alex during a seven  day paddling feat, which started on 18 July.  They paddled a canoe, which David built himself, navigating 45 locks to reach Teddington Lock, the closest point to London which is safe for a canoe.  Beyond Teddington, the river becomes tidal.

Alex Babington, who has just completed  Year 11 at school, said:  “It has always been an ambition of mine to row the Thames so when this chance came along I jumped at it.  The fact that it is for charity has made it that much better.”

David Babington said:  ”We averaged  about 20 miles a day which is a lot of paddling – and saw some interesting wildlife and fantastic riverside houses along the way.  It was a real adventure and we thank everyone who helped us exceed our fundraising target.  It made the sunburn and aching limbs worthwhile!”

Marilyn Sydenham, Community Fundraising Manager for Hearing Dogs in the South Wales and West, added:  ” It is wonderful that David and Alex carried out this unusual fundraising challenge on our behalf.  It reminds  me of the book ‘Three Men in a Boat’ and we extend a grateful thanks to them on behalf of Hearing Dogs for Deaf People!”

David’s just giving page is still open at:

Improve International was founded in 1998 by a group of veterinary surgeons from across the UK, including a number of recognised experts.  It provides high quality Continuing Education in a range of formats for veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses and practice managers to help them develop their skills and knowledge, using a combination of review lectures, case-based discussion and, where applicable, hands-on practical sessions.

It offers programmes across a range of venues in the UK and in Europe and will shortly be extending its training to Australia and New Zealand.