Local teenagers swim Channel for Queen Victoria Hospital charity

Thursday 1st August 2013

Six local teenagers have swum the English Channel to raise money for the Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) Charitable Fund. The boys completed the 21 mile crossing on 7 July in a time of 16 hours and 52 minutes, each taking it in turns to swim for an hour.

One of the swimmers, Ashley Thomas, has been receiving orthodontic treatment at the East Grinstead Hospital over the last year and wanted to support the Peanut Ward in recognition of the expert and compassionate care he saw while he was there.

Ashley and three of the other swimmers are sixth form pupils at Worth School in Turners Hill. They were joined by a former pupil and another friend. The six swimmers were Ashley Thomas, Sam Steers, Max Hodgkinson, David Corr, Hugh Murphy (all 17) and Benny Barham (21). The team have inscribed their names on the wall of the White Horse pub in Dover, where successful Channel swimmers note their success. QVH is included in the inscription as their cause.

QVH is a specialist NHS hospital providing life-changing reconstructive surgery, burns care and rehabilitation services for people across the south of England. The charitable fund helps the hospital to do even more to rebuild lives by making improvements to patient environments, providing more and better equipment, and supporting research into new treatments.

Ashley Thomas said: “We had been planning to swim the Channel and I suggested we do it for QVH’s Peanut Ward. A couple of the other guys in the team had also been there in the past. It was nerve-wracking before we got started, and a huge relief once we finally arrived in France. We’re aiming to raise £10,000 and are already three quarters of the way there.”

Nicola Senior, Peanut Ward Manager, said: “Peanut Ward is enormously grateful to the swimmers for their support and commitment. We will make sure that the money they raised is put to good use to help make the experience of being in hospital that little bit easier for our young patients and their families.”

Gill Orman, Head of Fundraising for the QVH Charitable Fund, said: “We’re delighted that the boys chose to support us, and so proud of their amazing achievement. With their support, QVH can do even more to help rebuild lives. We’re always happy to hear from people who have fundraising ideas, big or small, and keen to help them however we can.”

Donations for the swimmers’ achievement in support of the QVH Charitable Fund can be made at: www.virginmoneygiving.com/thenuttys