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Children’s Charity Channel Swim for Age UK

14 May 2020

Two young swimmers from Dorchester have set themselves a daunting challenge to swim the English Channel from a small pool in their garden, to help raise funds for Age UK North, South & West Dorset.

Ethan (13) and Niamh (11) will swim in their small pool measuring just 3m x 2m for the same amount of time as a full Channel crossing – roughly 14 hours – from 26 May. The 20+ mile swim is expected to take a few days to finish, and the siblings will take it in turns to complete the distance.

For the duration of their mammoth effort, Ethan and Niamh will be secured to the garden wall via a bungee rope, to recreate the effect of the cross-channel current (and to avoid thousands of tumble turns!)

The children’s father Jared said: “Ethan and Niamh came up with this idea on their own. They both love the water and are missing their time at the West Dorset Swimming Club. Their wish to do something to help charities supporting older people during this pandemic has made me and their mum so proud.

“We have experienced Coronavirus here in the family. My wife has recently recovered from COVID-19, so the children know first-hand the awful effects of this virus.”

Niamh said: “I want to do this because it's a good personal challenge, and to think that we might be able to help older people in our community is just amazing!

“It upsets me to know that there are lots of old people who are on their own, especially during this horrible time. I hope that people will help us by spreading the word and donating lots of money to our crazy challenge!”

The fit young brother and sister have given themselves five days to complete the 21-mile challenge – the equivalent of a Dover to Calais swim – in the family’s small unheated playpool.

Ethan said: “We are doing this because we have seen the brilliant work that Age UK is doing in our local area. They are helping so many people who do not have anybody in their lives to help. 

“It is a cold and tough challenge for my little sister and me to do, and if we can raise some money too then that would be awesome!

If you would like to support Ethan and Niamh’s challenge, then please donate whatever you can via their special page on the Just Giving website at:

https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ethanandniamhswim4ageuknswd