Swim 22 challenge accepted - and smashed!
Fred Roberts with his National Express Employee Charity Panel donation
Midland Metro’s Fred Roberts has this week completed a sponsored Swim 22 challenge to raise money for the UK’s leading diabetes charity, Diabetes UK.
Fred swam 22 miles, which is the equivalent to the width of the English Channel, by completing lengths in his local swimming pool over the course of 12 weeks, and on Monday 18 May he quite aptly finished off the last stretch in the English Channel itself.
Initially he wanted to raise £500, however he has successfully managed to triple this amount thanks to supportive friends, family and work colleagues. The impressive £1,500 total also includes a £200 donation from the National Express Employee Charity Panel which supports the company’s employees in their own charitable work.
Fred, 58, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 1996. It was an easy decision to support a charity that has such a personal significance to him, but as well as raising money, he wanted to take the challenge to lose weight, improve his fitness, and perhaps most importantly, improve his diabetes control.
On completing his challenge, Fred said: “The Midland Metro line is about 13 miles end to end, so to think that I have effectively swam the same distance from Birmingham to Wolverhampton and back is quite surreal. Swim 22 has made a massive difference to my health and diabetes control, so much so that I’m already planning my next swim challenge to keep me focused and fit.
“Thanks to the National Express Employee Charity Panel and all of my friends, family and colleagues who have donated so generously to help me smash my target and raise funds for Diabetes UK. If anybody would like to make any further donations they can do so on my page www.justgiving.com/fred-roberts22 until 22 June.”
The National Express Employee Charity Panel helps support employees in their own charitable and voluntary work. The Panel is made up of employees from around the National Express business who meet quarterly to decide which good causes they will support. The Panel awarded almost £17,000 to 65 charities and organisations nominated by employees throughout 2014.