IT WAS an ambitious fundraising effort with an extremely ambitious target.

When Hampshire dad and his 20 friends set off on a marathon sponsored row they dreamt of raising £20,000 towards life changing surgery for his disabled daughter.

Daily Echo:

But the team were left stunned when they discovered their efforts had actually raised £40,000. for Jemima’s Journey.

The money was raised by Andrew Syvret, above, to help fund an operation in the US for his daughter Jemima who suffers from cerebral palsy.

The operation – selective dorsal rhizotomy involves cutting nerves in Jemima’s spine which are sending the wrong messages to her legs.

The fundraising is part of the Daily Echo-backed campaign to raise £90,000 for the op that could eventually enable Jemima, aged five, to walk unaided.

Daily Echo:

Her story has sparked a big response from the community – with charitable organisation the Barker- Mill Foundation donating £10,000 after reading about Jemima in the Daily Echo.

As part of the fundraising drive accountant Mr Syvret and 20 fellow businessmen from Southampton, Winchester and Chandler’s Ford set out to row round the Isle of Wight.

Mr Syvret, of Norlands Drive, Otterbourne, Winchester, rowed approximately 60 miles starting from Portsmouth in 12 hours.

Daily Echo:

He said: “Having spent all my working life working in finance in the south there is a very strong representation of accountants, lawyers and bankers. They and their families have been generous in the donation of their time and resources to help Jemima.

“I woke up this morning and felt I could not move. I ached so much but a cuddle with my beautiful daughter soon made me realise how worthwhile it all was.”

Daily Echo:

Mum, Jo, said: “I’m incredibly proud of my husband and all the team who have completed an amazing challenge for Jemima. It has been a pretty emotional day for me, realising just how much work they all put in to raise funds for Jemima’s Journey.

“Andrew and I never imagined that having Jemima would bring us such positive life experiences. We feel very grateful and honoured that 20 people have taken the time out of their busy lives to help her have a better life.”

Daily Echo:

The rowers were:

  • Andrew Syvret, accountant, Winchester
  • Simon Hyde, banker, Oxford
  • James McNeil, lawyer, Winchester
  • Andy Wright, banker, Portsmouth
  • Stephen Porter, director, Romsey
  • Andy Jameson, company director, Hayling Island
  • Jonny Syvret, pilot, London
  • Andrew Stewart, company director, Winchester
  • Peter Syvret, company director, Southampton
  • Guy Blackburn, accountant, Southampton
  • Eugene McCann, accountant, Southampton
  • Jamie Chambers, lawyer, New Forest
  • Andy Green, company director, Petersfield
  • Drew Mellor, accountant, Southampton.