Nine intrepid members of a Portsmouth law firm are taking to the water to raise money for Fratton Live at Home scheme, a community-based charity for older people.

The solicitors and executives at Larcomes Solicitors are taking picking up their oars to take part in the Great River Race on 3 September, rowing 21.5 miles up the River Thames to raise funds for the scheme. Fratton Live at Home is part of the national charity MHA, which provides services for older people. Its Live at Home schemes provide a wide-variety of activities and outings for older people who live independently in their own home, helping reduce loneliness and isolation.

The ten taking part are Charlotte Cooper, David Sumner, Janice Ward, Kate Tidman, Lucy Linington, Mark Lucie, Natalie Courage. Paul Lee and Sarah Latham. Training has been tough for the ten – with the exception of two, none of them have every rowed before.

Administration Manager Natalie Courage, from Larcomes, said: “Each year we give back to our community by supporting a local charity. Fratton Live at Home provides an excellent service for older people living in the area so it was an easy decision to support the work they do.”

Diane Brown, MHA’s Fratton Live at Home manager, said: “We are delighted that Larcomes have chosen to support us in this way. We know they have a tough challenge ahead of them and wish them well in their endeavours to raise money so we can support even more older people at risk of loneliness and isolation.” The team has been training at the Eastney Cruising Association and aim to complete the River Thames course in around five hours.

Natalie added: “The furthest we have managed to row so far is eight miles although we have managed a practise session on the River Thames. We know it will be a difficult challenge but one that will be worth it, both in terms of our achievement and knowing we have helped such a great charity.”