Lichfield swimmers are among a group who are taking on the challenge of swimming across the Channel.

The eight person team are hoping to raise £12,500 to be shared by Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Care for Casualties.

Team captain Jennifer Berry – who will be joined by her husband Dan for the swim – said the challenge would be a great one for all involved.

“There are two members of our team who are active swimmers and a few of us couldn’t even swim a full length front crawl when we signed up, so as you can imagine it has been a mammoth challenge.

“The cold alone is going to be a one of the biggest challenges we are going to have to face as we will be swimming the channel without wetsuits.

“We’re trying not to think about the water conditions or sea life we may come face to face with.”

Jennifer Berry

The charities chosen are close to the team’s hearts as well.

Jennifer suffered a brain haemorrhage at 15, causing a stroke which was followed by two mini-strokes aged 16. She was wheelchair-bound for a number of years and had to learn to speak, walk and complete basic tasks all over again.

But after being cared for by Birmingham Children’s Hospital she went on to make a full recovery and has since completed marathons, parachute jumps and even winning a world silver medal at kickboxing.

Her husband Dan Berry is a former reconnaissance soldier with The Royal Green Jackets who served in Kosovo and Bosnia.

“In the past 16 years Dan has attended numerous funerals of friends who either lost their lives in combat or simply could not cope with the emotional scars from overseas operations and have tragically taken their own lives as a result.

“Care For Casualties actively supports Riflemen and their families who are suffering from the emotional and physical trauma of front line duties.

“This could be anything from counselling, to home adaptions for those may have lost limbs and struggle with everyday tasks, to the ongoing care of fallen Riflemen’s families and children.”

Jennifer Berry

The team have gone to Dover today (10th June) to await the call for the tide to be right for them to begin the crossing challenge.

People can donate via their online fundraising page.

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