Southend's Janice Banks Open Water Charity Swim

For immediate release


A local grandmother from Southend-on-Sea, Janice Banks, will be taking part in an extra special event this year to support her grandson and a charity close to their family’s hearts.


On the 10th of February Janice will be swimming a mile in what is the biggest open water event in the world and this years event is extra special as it will be the 40th anniversary swim. Up to 20,000 people are set to enter over 2 days including Olympic and professional swimmers. Janice will set off from the UK flying to DurbaninSouth Africa for the event which takes place in the shadow of the Midmar Dam.


Janice said, “I decided to enter the swim this year after seeing how courageous my grandchildren are living with the various medical conditions they have. One of my grandchildren, Luke, was born with a heart condition and has been receiving treatment as he collapses because his heartbeat is irregular. This means he may need to get a pacemaker fitting at just 16. I was inspired by how brave he was facing this and growing up. I myself had a few health problems too. After having two shoulder and one knee operation, I was told afterwards that to build up the muscle I should swim more. So I decided to take it to the extreme and do a mile long swim inSouth Africa for charity!


“I am training as hard as I can for the swim. The training is going well and I learnt the freestyle last June. At 65 years old I’m determined to something really special and challenging while I still can.


Around 1 in every 133 children has a heart problem meaning around 5000 children each year are affected by the serious and sometimes life-threatening condition. CHF provides support for these children and their parents as well as medical equipment and small grants to help with travel and accommodation costs when their child is in hospital.


Talking about why she chose CHF Janice said, “I am raising money for the Children’s Heart Federation as I know how vital donations are to them in continuing their important work. CHF has helped me so much providing advice and answering all the many questions when Luke my grandson discovered he had a heart problem. I have raised £1000 so far and am keen to raise even more so that CHF can provide support to so many parents across the UK as possible”.


Samantha Johnson, Family Support Worker for CHF said, “CHF want to say a big thank you to Janice for helping to raise vital money for the charity and we wish her luck in her exciting swim inSouth Africa. All the funds raised by her will go directly towards our work and help us continue to provide information, support, grants and medical equipment to families in challenging situations”.

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