A Bexhill teenager helped raise more than £10,000 to help children in Uganda by taking on the gruelling challenge of swimming across the channel.
Josh Bishop, now 18, set off last July from Shakespeare Beach in Dover with co-swimmer Sean Collins and together they completed the arduous crossing in 13 hrs 52mins.
They swam one hour stints in turn with Josh’s dad, the Rev Dave Bishop of Sidley Baptist Church, acting as support crew in the boat. Dave had the job of ensuring once out of the water Josh and Sean were quickly warmed up and had hot food and drinks.
Once they had eaten, the lads had just 20mins rest before preparing to get back in the water. Josh added: “The mental challenge was perhaps the biggest of all - having to get back in the cold water tired and exhausted.” Swimming alongside cross channel ferries and enormous tankers, at times the swimmers were joined by seals and dolphins. At one point they had to swim through a shoal of jellyfish which extended as far as the eye could see. Josh says he got through it by putting his head down and just kep swimming - a few nasty stings resulted but nothing serious. The last hour was the hardest: “Knowing we were almost there but having to go with the constantly changing tide getting to shore seems to take forever!” They raised a staggering £10,200 which has purchased a coach for the children of Kings Kid School and Orphanage in Uganda - this made all the effort worthwhile and means children no longer have to walk to school and back. Josh said: “I cannot thank my sponsors enough for believing in me and in this project.”