Boat race in honour of journalist Richard

NHS Blood and Transplant is urging people in Derbyshire to sign up for a special boat race in memory of a young Ripley and Heanor News journalist who died at the age of 26.

Chesterfield man Richard Woolley, who worked at the News in 2008, sadly lost his battle with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in 2009 after chronicling his experiences of the disease in a book, Leukaemia - My Marathon for Love.

However, his father Mike Woolley, together with NHSBT, is calling on people to help others in his memory by taking part in a charity boat race at Rotherham’s Rother Valley Country Park on Saturday, June 9.

The event, which will see teams take to the water in Chinese dragon-themed boats, will raise funds for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research and the Anthony Nolan Trust. As Richard’s treatment saw him receive many blood and platelet transfusions, NHSBT is also hoping that competitors will consider signing up as blood donors on the day.

Existing blood donors are also particularly welcome to take part and perhaps set up their own team. Anyone interested can enter as part of a team or as an individual and the team can be formed later to make up a crew.

Thanking local blood donors for all the transfusions Richard received during his treatment, Mike, who also gives blood regularly, said: “Without the goodwill of blood donors he would have had no hope at all.”