Consultant Ophthalmologist and Oculoplastic Surgeon, Mr Manuel Saldana, his children William (19), Beth (17) and Alice (12) together with Ophthalmologist, Dr Stephen Sweetman, and local businessman Tim Bigg are planning a relay swim of the channel in late August, to raise money for the local NHS.
Mr Manuel Saldana said: “Swimming the English Channel is one of the hardest things you can do, but nothing will beat the feeling of finally reaching the shores of France after completing one of the world’s toughest open water swimming challenges.
“It typically takes between 12 to 15 hours to swim in relay, with each team member swimming at least twice, until we reach the French coast. Wetsuits are not allowed, so the challenges we face include the cold, waves, jellyfish, and maintaining the determination to just keep swimming!
“The situation with Covid-19 is unprecedented and is one of the biggest challenges our hospitals, community and the NHS as a whole has ever had to face. Every day we are reminded by our local community just how much our local healthcare services means to them, and how much they rely on it. This is why we decided to take on this challenge to raise money to support our staff, patients and community teams impacted by the virus.
“We are proud to be part of our amazing community, of the NHS and in particularly to be part of the East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust family. Anything we raise during this challenge will go towards helping Eastbourne, Bexhill and Conquest hospitals so we can continue to give exceptional care for patients and support for staff.”
The team of six swimmers will swim in relay following a piloted boat to guide them on their way, with each person swimming in one hour shifts.
To support the swimmers and make a donation got to: https://gf.me/u/x6r2bs