17807A team of eight members of staff from RPD Builders, the Billingham-based building and construction firm, have swapped their tools for oars to take part in the Annual Daisy Chain Boat Race.

The team of eight, guided by a qualified professional from the Tees Barrage International White Water Centre, battled the elements on the River Tees to raise more than £400 for the autism charity and come second in its annual bell-boat race.

Daisy Chain, which was established in 2003, is a charity that provides a range of services, including support and activity groups, to children diagnosed with autism and their families. The charity has a 5.5 acre farm in Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, which has a day centre, wetland area and sensory and vegetable gardens for the children and their families to enjoy.

Peter Davison, Owner of RPD Builders, said: “Daisy Chain is a fantastic charity that does invaluable work for many youngsters and families in the area who are affected by autism. We were thrilled with the amount that we were able to raise for the Stockton-based charity, while having fun on the River Tees.

“Although none of the team were particularly skilled rowers, we saw the boat race as a great opportunity to raise money and awareness for the charity and it was a fantastic chance for a bit of team bonding too.”

Judith Haysmore, Daisy Chain Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted that RPD Builders took part in our Annual Boat Race. Our fundraising events wouldn’t be possible without the support of local businesses, so we are so grateful for RPD Builders for giving up their time to support this event. We hope they had fun and enjoyed the whole experience on the River Tees.”

Established in 2001 by Peter Davison, an experienced builder and site manager, RPD Builders is a building and construction firm and its expertise ranges from domestic house modifications, such as extensions and conversions, to commercial projects of almost any scope or size. The firm has worked with numerous clients throughout the whole of the North East.