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Novice swimmer aims to tackle epic challenge for charity

Lee Ford (left) on one of his previous fund-raising challenges.
Lee Ford (left) on one of his previous fund-raising challenges.

A fund-raiser is set to make a splash for charity with his hardest challenge yet.

Lee Ford is aiming to swim 22 miles, the equivalent of the English Channel, as part of the Swim22 challenge to raise money for Diabetes UK.

Lee, who is set to move to Morpeth from Stakeford, is completing the challenge at BETTER fitness club swimming pool in Gosforth over a 12-week period.

But in an added twist, Lee will be covering the 1,416 lengths less than a year after learning to swim and having never taken part in a swimming event or challenge before.

Lee, who works in Gosforth for St Oswald’s Hospice, is aiming to be an inspiration to his daughter Eva while raising money.

He said: “I want Eva to learn that helping others is something you should always aspire to do. It can be something small like buying a Big Issue from a vendor or buying a jumper and socks for a homeless person in the winter, right up to running a marathon and raising thousands for a children’s hospice.

“I also, of course, want her to be proud of her dad.”

Over the past 14 years, Lee has raised more than £80,000 for a number of charities through marathons, half-marathons, cycling around the UK, hiking trails, climbing mountains and volcanoes, and more.

To sponsor Lee, visit www.justgiving.com/doggypaddlelee or make a donation at the BETTER Gosforth Leisure Centre.