Rowers dressed as superheroes and key workers were seen guiding their homemade rafts down the Thames as a charity boat race made its return.

The Thames Water Raft Race, which has been running for more than two decades, was cancelled last year because of Covid-19.

Rowers in medical scrubs
Some participants dressed in medical scrubs as a nod to NHS workers (Steve Parsons/PA)

But it returned on Thursday as Thames Water staff wearing fancy dress took to the water in Reading to raise money for the Water Aid charity.

In honour of the work done by key workers during the pandemic, the theme for the day was superheroes.

Rowers dressed as Batman and Wonder Woman
Batman and Wonder Woman were among those taking part (Steve Parsons/PA)

Some took the theme literally with Batman and Wonder Woman among those seen participating.

Others donned medical scrubs or masks of Sir Tom Moore, while one team wore T-shirts featuring a picture of England’s chief medical officer Chris Whitty and the caption: “Next slide please.”

Thames Water Raft Race
The event has been taking place for more than two decades (Steve Parsons/PA)

Through a partnership with Water Aid, employees have raised more than £1.3 million to improve access to clean water for disadvantaged communities in Malawi as part of their recent Thames Loves Malawi project.

In total the company has donated more than £40 million to Water Aid since the charity was founded in 1981, Thames Water said.