Dad takes the big lake plunge for hospice

Sam Michel in training at Queenford Lakes.

Sam Michel in training at Queenford Lakes.

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A 36-year-old Aylesbury man is making his first fundraising challenge the one-mile open water Swim Serpentine in Hyde Park, in aid of a hospice.

Sam Michel will be raising funds for Helen & Douglas House, during the swim on September 24.

The account manager for Glass’s Automotive data suppliers, said: “I have always loved swimming and I’ve always wanted to do a physical challenge for a worthy cause but I just needed the right challenge and the right charity. My wife Charlotte has worked for Helen & Douglas House for two years and we regularly donate goods to their local shop in Aylesbury knowing the charity needs to raise over £5 million every year to continue to provide such a high level of care for families. As a father I feel comforted to know that such support is out there for families facing such difficult times.”

Sam was inspired to raise money for Helen & Douglas House after visiting the hospice houses during their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. He said: “I was struck by the uplifting atmosphere and energy of the place. All the children were smiling and everyone was making the most of life. Not perhaps what you would expect walking into a children’s hospice.”

Sam is training hard doing between 280 and 300 laps at his local pool each week with a couple of practices swimming in local lakes. He has already surpassed his initial fundraising target of £200.

His family and friends are very excited, especially his 5-year-old son Luca. Sam added: “My little boy is very proud, he is so excited to watch me swim and cheer me on, although he can’t quite understand why he cannot get in with me!

“I am most looking forward to the adrenaline rush of the event and the sense of achievement afterwards, knowing I can make a difference with my sponsorship. The biggest challenge will be the British weather, so the lake could be very cold.”

Hannah Barrett, events fundraising manager said: “Swim Serpentine is an exciting new event that we are delighted to be part of - it’s a brilliant challenge for swimmers of all abilities and is in a fantastic location! This will be Sam’s first open water event, and having seen him train I am sure he will smash the challenge.

“Each year, the £5.5 million we need to raise comes through people donating and fundraising through challenges like this. We only receive around 12 per cent statutory funding. If anyone would like to join Sam, and take on Swim Serpentine, we have places available and would love to see more people take to the water in aid of Helen & Douglas House.”

To support Sam visit http://www.justgiving.com/Sam-Michel-Swim-Serpentine-Helen-and-Douglas-House

and visit www.hdh.org.uk