Wednesday, 29 September 2021

Woman enters swim in aid of friend s son

A WOMAN from Woodcote is to take part in her first open water swim for charity.

A WOMAN from Woodcote is to take part in her first open water swim for charity.

Danni Callan, 28, hopes to raise £500 for the Helen and Douglas House hospice by swimming a mile in the Serpentine in Hyde Park.

On September 24, she and her father Jeremy will be among the 6,000 people who are expected to enter the first Swim Serpentine challenge.

Miss Callan is a keen recreational swimmer and uses the Henley leisure centre pool weekly but she and her father have never swum outdoors.

The water temperature in the lake is expected to be just over 16C, about 10C colder than a typical indoor pool.

Miss Callan, who lives with her family in Goring Road, came up with the idea because a friend in Thame has a baby son who uses the Oxford-based hospice.

The youngster suffered brain damage after a traumatic birth and has problems with his muscle co-ordination.

Miss Callan decided she wanted to help after visiting him while he recovered from a recent operation.

On top of her regular swims in Henley, she and her father now spend two days a week at Queenford Lakes in Dorchester.

The pair swim a mile each time while her mother Michelle or younger sister Emmi time them from the bank.

Miss Callan, who works as at office administrator at Bouchier Fencing in Woodcote, said: “I’m finding it very cold at the moment — it takes me ages to feel warm again once I’ve finished.

“I did try swimming in a wetsuit but it was just too difficult so I’ll be doing it in a regular bathing suit.

“Dad’s not finding it too bad –— he’s recovering from a small injury but should be fine on the day.

“So far we’ve managed to swim a mile in about 40 minutes, which isn’t the fastest but I never realised how hard it was to keep swimming that distance without stopping.

“I’m feeling pretty confident about the day itself. I just hope we have good weather in the days beforehand because it will be a lot colder if it rains.”

To sponsor Miss Callan, visit

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