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Great Gran Elaine’s up for big kayak challenge

A 99-year-old great grandmother is kayaking as many laps as possible around Decoy Lake to raise funds for the NHS in Devon.

Elaine Gray is set to complete another mission to raise money for the NHS Royal Bristol Hospital for Children, by kayaking as many laps as she can around the lake in Decoy Country Park, Newton Abbot, on Wednesday, July 13, from 4pm.

This is the second challenge that Elaine has set herself; late last year she kayaked almost seven miles on the Exeter canal in aid of the NHS, Devon Partnership Trust.

‘While I still can, I want to give as much as possible,’ said Elaine, who will celebrate turning 100 on October 26,’ said Elaine.

‘We are exceptionally privileged to have the NHS and I feel we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to those who dedicate their lives to the care of others.

‘One of my great-grandchildren had a serious operation in 2021 and I would like to help Bristol Children’s Hospital to show our gratitude.

‘My legs aren’t as strong as they once were, but I can still power through with my arms and do my bit.’

All her life Elaine has been an inspiration to her family and friends with her positive can-do attitude, her zest for life and giving to others.

In 1949 she threw herself into raising her family and her volunteer work with the National Blood Transfusion Service, including running the blood donation drive in Torquay from 1949 for over 40 years.

Elaine is exceptionally well travelled, is an avid reader and exhibits huge curiosity – at 99 years old she is still as mentally sharp as ever.

Having been a keen canoeist and kayaker for many years, she feels this the perfect way to give back.

A just giving page has been set up at Justgiving at

Elaine said she would be honored for people to come out and support her efforts at Decoy Lake, Decoy Country Park, on Wednesday, July 13 ,at 4pm (weather permitting).

ABOVE LEFT AND RIGHT: 99-year-old kayaker Elaine Gray.

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