Kayakers will take to the water this weekend to complete a loop of the islands in aid of a child sexual abuse prevention charity.

They will be joined by surf skiers and paddleboarders for the fifth annual Kayak For Kids, to raise money and awareness for Saving Children and Revealing Secrets.

Jerry Rivers, one of the organisers, said that the 2020 event was expected to include 23 participants — an all-time high — and that there were “more corporate sponsors this year than ever before”.

He added: “It definitely is building year on year.”

Mr Rivers whose wife, Debi Ray-Rivers, founded Scars, said that companies wanted to offer donations to charities that can be most effective during the changed environment brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that Scars could be considered as a frontline service because multiple generations of families were spending more time under one roof, particularly when children were not attending school.

Mr Rivers said: “What we find is people still understand that child sexual abuse is an ongoing, consistent issue and you can’t let down your guard.

“The argument is that now is probably the time we should increase the amount of awareness and education.”

Watersports fans involved in the event — who also generate individual donations — will leave from Somerset at 8am tomorrow and make their way to Clearwater Beach in St David’s, from where they will start on Sunday morning to return to Somerset Long Bay.

Mr Rivers said: “I would love to see people get in their kayaks, just go out on the water on Sunday, show support — a couple of hours out with the family.

“What I find is we are out kayaking around the island and there are so many kayaks up on shore.”

Ms Ray-Rivers added: “This has been an extremely challenging year for charities who wish to host fundraising events and we at Scars are thankful that our Kayak For Kids is taking place.

“We are also beyond grateful to all of our kayakers and their friends, colleagues and family members who are supporting them by donating towards our mission to protect children.

“The funds raised from this event will allow us to continue to advocate and be a voice for children who have been sexually molested as well as their affected family.”

Kayak For Kids sponsors include brokers Willis Re and Guy Carpenter, insurance and reinsurance firms Fidelis, Axa XL, Chubb, Everest, Hiscox, the Oil group of companies, RenaissanceRe, Validus Re, Markel and Lancashire as well as professional services firm Aon.

• For more information visit kayak4kids.bm.

The Royal Gazette