Stuart Hinde, 53, an Associate Engineer from Leeds is limbering up to fulfil a lifelong dream on Friday (14 July), by swimming the English Channel.
He hopes to raise £2,100 for the children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent, a cause close to his heart, and is also raising money for mental health charity Mind. Now he is appealing to the local community for further sponsorship for his huge challenge.
When Stuart was a child he was captivated by the story of Captain Webb, who in 1883 became the first man to swim the Channel. And in 2011 he was part of a relay team of six swimmers, who each swam an hour at a time to complete the course from Dover to Calais.
Now, Stuart is going it alone, assisted by his support crew, brother Mick Hinde, and friends Colin Rosenberg and Ally Brisby, who have already swum the Channel solo, and who have been assisting Stuart with training tips and advice.
They will make sure Stuart stays on track, and out of trouble, and will feed and water him via a pole during his long distance swim, as the rules specify that he is not allowed to touch the support vessel once they leave port.
Stuart works at BAM Construct UK, which chose CLIC Sargent as its new charity partner earlier this year and has pledged to raise £100,000 for the charity over the next two years.
This huge total could pay for CLIC Sargent to provide over 4,000 hours of support for young cancer patients and their families.
“The older you get, the more people you know have been touched by cancer, including family members. Cancer doesn’t care what age you are, it gets you when it wants."
“Training for this challenge has been intense. But my colleagues at BAM Construct UK and my friends and family have all been really supportive.
“The shortest route across the Channel is 21 miles, but with all the currents I’m more likely to cover over 30 miles, and in total I will be in the water for about 16 hours.
“My wife is worried, she’s scared of open water. And my two teenage daughters can’t believe I’m doing this but I know they will be proud if I manage it.
“And it’s good to know that what I’m doing will help CLIC Sargent Nurses and Support Workers help children and young people and their parents who are having a really rough time.”
To sponsor Stuart visit his official Virgin Money Giving page.
For more information, photographs or interviews please call Claire Monger in the PR team on 020 8752 2938 or email firstname.lastname@example.org