A Northampton training advisor has successfully swum the English Channel - battling seasickness, jellyfish and freezing temperatures.
Battered by high winds and tides, Vicki Saunders of Nene Valley Day Nursery has conquered the English Channel for charity in a marathon swim to the France.
While the majority of other challengers turned back due to the conditions, Vicki, a quality and training advisor, and three team mates swam on through the night to reach France in 16.42 hours.
Only six relay teams have officially been successful this year and being wracked with seasickness and hampered by tidal swells, Vicki admitted to moments of doubt: “I did question whether we would make it due to the debilitating seasickness and vomiting and the intense cold after each night swim.
“The shivering was so intense we had to help each other get dressed and warm after a swim,” she said.
“Emails from home and messages from colleagues company-wide really motivated us to keep going.
“I was delighted and overwhelmed at the finish and the sand on the French beach never felt so soft under my feet.”
The team was cheered on by their CEO Mike Thompson - founder of the employee-owned Childbase Partnership which has 44 day nurseries including Nene Valley – in the small support boat.
Messaging colleagues throughout the challenge, Mike commented: “I am enormously proud and very emotional as I watch my colleagues battle against the elements.
“The waves are relentless and despite a big swell working against us, they are forging ahead.
“Their commitment is quite simply remarkable and this is the toughest challenge I have every witnessed.”
The team is raising cash for the Children’s Air Ambulance providing rapid response times to trauma and medical emergencies, for children and babies throughout the UK, which has been adopted in all 44 nurseries and at Head Office for a year-long fund-raising drive.
Support the team by visiting www.justgiving.com/Childbase-Channel-Challenge.