Bideford team limbers up to swim Channel

THE English Channel awaits eight intrepid swimmers who will cross it in relay this July to raise funds for the Bideford-based young people s charity Wings South West. Having already been in training for more than a year, the Wings Big Swim Team marked the

THE English Channel awaits eight intrepid swimmers who will cross it in relay this July to raise funds for the Bideford-based young people's charity Wings South West.

Having already been in training for more than a year, the Wings Big Swim Team marked the move into their final six months of preparation for the epic 24-mile swim from England to France with a photo-call on Westward Ho! beach.

They are Anne Bowser, education and training manager at Wings; Fraser Marchbank, conservation and youth worker at Wings; swim instructor Dave Worms; students Matt Howe, Harley Uden and Abby Oliver and fitness trainers Tom Howe and Sean Burgess.

They have been put through their paces by Wayne Large, local exercise and nutrition coach and owner of Absolute Training, who is sponsoring them with his time and expertise. Tom and Sean are two of his trainers.


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Wayne said: "I am fully in support of this swim because Wings is a great cause and I feel more should be in place for teenagers. Wings South West is a valuable resource in Bideford and the wider community."

Wings is a Christian-based charity that works with young people in the Bideford area with the aim of brightening their futures through opportunities for positive relationships and creative learning, helping them to gain skills, confidence and self-esteem.

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The swim is one of a number of events planned for this year with the aim of raising �20,000. This would fund another youth worker for a year, keep the charity's youth caf� The Source running two nights a week for a year, or keep its NEET courses for young people not in education, employment or training running three times a week for a year.

Wings has been running for 10 years from its Wings Hall premises in Lower Meddon Street, Bideford, which is also a drop-in centre for young people.

The idea for the swim came from its conservation and youth worker Fraser Marchbank.

Youngest members of the team are Bideford College students Abby Oliver and Harley Uden, both 14.

The girls have been fitting in four or five swimming sessions a week.

Sponsors for the event are welcomed and a Just Giving page has been set up for donations. Visit www.justgiving.com/big-swim. Or for further information, contact Milly Peart at milly@wingscharity.com or call the Wings office on (01237) 472000.

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