ALMOST 300 people raised over £16,000 for charity with a sponsored rowing competition over the weekend.

Row The Tyne was held at the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle on Saturday in aid of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

Fifty teams of up to six people were challenged to row 118,000m in ten hours using rowing machines.

Joel Dickinson, from Hexham, organised the event alongside friends Dave Shenton and Jamie Walton, as a way to say ‘thank you’ for the care he received during his cancer treatment last year.

He said: “The support we’ve had is unbelievable.

“It’s great to see the money coming in, and knowing it will make a real difference.”

Mr Dickinson was diagnosed with oropharyngeal cancer on his tonsil, which spread to his lymph nodes in his neck, last February, and after treatment was given the all clear in May.

He said: “I was completely overwhelmed by the quality of treatment and care I received at the Freeman Hospital and raising funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation is my way of saying ‘thank you’.

“We’ve been staggered by the positive response to our fundraising.

“So many people have offered to provide equipment and raffle prizes and just wanting to do something to help.”