A Northam swimmer has completed 1,794 width of Westward Ho! swimming pool – the equivalent of the English Channel.

Over and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton, Kevin and Heather Reynolds. Picture: Over and AboveOver and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton, Kevin and Heather Reynolds. Picture: Over and Above

Kevin Reynolds took on the challenge after his wife Heather was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer after a routine mammogram, and then had a lumpectomy at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital.

Heather received fantastic support from the wellbeing centre run by the charity Force in Exeter - a calm and tranquil unit away from the busy treatment unit.

There she received help and advice from volunteers and professional staff that ran the wellbeing unit who helped her to come to terms with the changes in their lives.

They also offered counselling sessions, massages and other therapies free of charge and a place to relax and unwind with tea, coffee and biscuits.

Over and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton, Kevin and Heather Reynolds. Picture: Over and AboveOver and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton, Kevin and Heather Reynolds. Picture: Over and Above

Heather also received chemotherapy at the North Devon District Hospital’s Seamoor Unit, as well as travelling regularly to Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital for radiotherapy.

Kevin said: “The staff at the Seamoor Unit are just incredible, constantly reassuring us both during this most stressful time.

“North Devon District Hospital would benefit so much by having its own Cancer and Wellbeing Support Centre locally.

“It will support the brilliant medical care and the 100% devotion that we always receive during and after our visits.”

Kevin raised £1,875 for the North Devon Cancer and Wellbeing Centre Appeal.

After such a magnificent swim, Kevin challenged Over and Above Fundraiser Julie Whitton to swim in the pool to receive the cheque.

Julie said: “I have attended cheque presentations in many fantastic locations but this is the first time I have ever dipped my toes into the water.

“Luckily for me it was a beautiful autumn day, and although it was mid September the water wasn’t too cold.

“It was the least I could do after all the effort Kevin has undertaken to raise the funds for our Appeal, and I really enjoyed it.”

Afterwards Kevin and Heather surprised Julie by presenting Over and Above with a further £50 cheque for being a sport and going into the water.

If you would like to take on a challenge to support the Cancer and Wellbeing Appeal please contact the Over and Above team on ndht.charity@nhs.net or phone the team on 01271 311772.