Fleur Hawthorne, a mother of three from Ruardean Woodside, is stepping up her training in preparation for a cross channel swim attempt in September 2017.

Fleur has been increasing the physical challenges she takes on ever since she lost five stones and took part in a triathlon to mark her 40th birthday.

She said:?“I was fast approaching 40, overweight and so unfit that even a flight of stairs meant left me breathless, then one evening I was sat with a glass of wine and packet of crisps watching TV and thought this really can’t carry on. I lost my lovely dad so young and my beautiful mum too. In short ‘no’, so the next morning I put on my trainers and went on my first run (well walking mostly but it was a start!) and so it began.”

Enduring snow and a few minor injuries Fleur completed her 40th birthday triathlon a week after her 40th birthday. Then half marathons, swims and cycling events followed over the next few years, each proving tougher but giving a bigger buzz.

And this brings her to her latest challenge to swim the Channel in September 2017. And to mark the 21 miles of swimming it will take to cross the Channel, Fleur hopes to raise £21,000 for charity.

Her two chosen charities are It’s in the Bag cancer support charity and the Great Western Air Ambulance charity.

Anyone wishing to support Fleur should follow the Donate Now links found on her official website – www.fleursbigswim.co.uk

It’s in the Bag is a Bristol based charity offering hands on support to men and their families across the South West of England who have been diagnosed with testicular cancer. The services are provided from Herefordshire to Cornwall.

Testicular cancer has a high survival rate, where if detected early, more than 96% of men will survive. It’s in the Bag encourages men from puberty onwards to self-check every month and to see their GP immediately if they discover anything unusual.

Visit www.itsinthebag.org.uk to find out more.

The Great Western Air Ambulance Charity is a charity funded air ambulance service. The crew attend serious incidents across the region. For more information visit their website at greatwesternairambulance.com for more information.