Nursery worker swims to France from the UK

A nursery worker has performed her own Brexit with a gruelling swim across the Channel to France.

By The Newsroom
Saturday, 9th July 2016, 7:00 am
Melissa Hepden PNL-160707-103831001
Melissa Hepden PNL-160707-103831001

Melissa Hepden is more used to completing puzzles with toddlers at Field House Day Nursery in Buckingham.

But last week, she battled against high winds, tides and freezing temperatures, to complete the ‘hardest challenge of her life’.

“I can’t imagine anything ever coming close to this,” said Melissa, who completed the swim in a time of 16 hours 42 minutes.

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“Once I was able to stand on the beach in France, the emotion took over and then swimming back to the boat there were little seals bobbing up to see us.

“The whole experience was surreal.”

The majority of other challengers turned back due to the terrible conditions but Melissa and three team mates ploughed on through the night to reach France.

She was given a hero’s welcome when she returned to the Tingewick Road nursery - which is run by the Childbase Partnership - with banners, balloons and a special celebratory lunch.

Mike Thompson, CEO of the partnership, said: “Their commitment is quite simply remarkable and this is the toughest challenge I have ever witnessed.”