Critical care nurses take on swim challenge for charity

20th May 2024

Two critical care nurses will swim a mammoth two miles in memory of their colleague whilst raising funds for an NHS charity.

Becky O’Dwyer, Lead Nurse and Vanessa Taylor, a Matron, at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, are taking on the Great North Swim in Lake Windermere on 7 June after they were inspired by the late Tony Hinton’s love of swimming.

The challenge will be in aid of Your Trust Charity, the organisation’s registered charity, to fund equipment to enhance the experience of patients and staff.

Becky said: “It’s a great opportunity to raise money for a good cause, whilst also remembering a friend.”

Tony had a lengthy career of over 25 years at City Hospital, where Becky and Vanessa remembered him as “a supportive and respected colleague with a great sense of humour”.  

She added: “We’d had this idea before Tony had passed away and told him all about it. He offered to coach us to success. So it’s only fitting that we carry out the challenge in memory of him.

“In collaboration with Tony’s wife, we’ve decided that the money raised will go towards something to improve the experience of patients and staff at our new hospital, the Midland Metropolitan University Hospital, which is opening later this year.  

“This would also be something that would remind us of Tony.” 

Over the winter months the pair have swam a minimum of a mile a week in the pool in preparation for the open water challenge – which equates to 64 lengths. 

So far they have raised over £1,000. Becky and Vanessa described the training process as challenging but extremely rewarding. 

Vanessa added: “Tony was a fantastic man who will be missed by everyone that worked with him at the Trust. The swim is an opportunity to honour his legacy here by doing something he loved. Any donations to the cause would be greatly appreciated by everyone on the Critical Care team.”  

Anyone wishing to make a donation can do so through Becky and Vanessa’s Just Giving page here

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