NEARLY 150 fitness fanatics helped raise £10,000 for a children’s charity in a gruelling 12-hour row-a-thon.

Around 144 rowers took part in the feat at the Bodycare gym, in High Road, Benfleet.

They rowed 622 miles between them in half a day.

Six rowed for the entire 12 hours, with another 36 teams rowing per hour.

The fundraiser was held in aid of the Canvey-based Indee Rose Trust and its expedition to climb Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain, in March.

Nicola Smith, co-owner of the gym, said: “We were so surprised by howmany people took part.

“We had such an amazing response.

“The atmosphere was great, with all these people in one room working as hard as they could rowing from 9am to 9pm.

“There was a lot of camaraderie.’’ Nicola added: “We are hoping to make it an annual event.

It was such a success it would be mad not to.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic cause and well worth supporting.”

People from across the borough supported the cause, including members of Bodycare gym, Concord Rangers football club, Canvey rugby club, the Hoy and Helmet pub and asbestos risk management specialists Aspect Contracts. The Indee Rose Trust was set up in 2009 by the family of Indee Rose Dopson.

She died after being diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just three years old.

The charity provides support to families with children diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumour.

Indee’s father, and trust founder, Russell Dopson, said: “Myself and Indee’s mum, Jane, followed the event through the day.

“We were amazed at the number of people who took part and the tremendous support that each rower brought with them.

“This is one of biggest fundraisers of the year.

“We would like to say a huge thank you to Grant Beglan and the Bodycare gym and all involved.”

For more information on the charity, visit www.indee