An intrepid local journalist is planning a long distance river swim to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice
Dan Pallett, who as Sports Presenter with BBC Midlands Today is more used to reporting on the athletic achievements of others, will swap his pen and notepad for a wetsuit and goggles to swim 10km along the River Dart in memory of his father, who was cared for by the hospice.
On Sunday 14th September, Dan will join hundreds of wild swimmers to swim the equivalent of running a marathon. Starting at Totnes they will swim 10km through the rolling hills of Devon and down the river Dart estuary to finish at the small waterside village of Dittisham.
Dan, aged 43 from Malvern, decided to take on this watery challenge as a tribute to his father, Paul Pallett, who was supported by St Richard’s before his death in December last year.
Dan said; “My Dad tackled his illness head on and it inspired him into fundraising. I am now continuing this in his memory and decided to take on a long distance wild swim as he loved being in the water and swimming. I secured my place in March and that’s when the training really started. I thought I’d struggle with the early mornings but I’ve really enjoyed it – especially the open water training. I joined Tewkesbury Triathlon Club to swim with them at Croft Farm near Tewkesbury. It’s an amazing experience to be so close to nature at 7am on a summer morning. Just magical.
“But the distance does hold fears. My longest training session was 2.5 hours while on holiday in France. But I don’t actually know how far I went so there’s still a seed of doubt about completing the distance. The Dart 10k isn’t a race it’s just an incredible journey. Anything up to four hours in a rubber suit is enough for anyone!
He added; “I’m so pleased to be supporting St Richard’s. I talked to my Dad about which charities to support with the swim and we both agreed that giving something back to St Richard’s was vital. My Dad had Motor Neurone Disease which put huge pressures on us all both mentally and physically as his condition worsened. The support we had from St Richard’s was superb throughout. My dad had excellent medical support, night carers which were invaluable and also great emotional support for us all. This especially helped my Dad’s wife Jan who was with my Dad through every step. My family will be with me in Devon so it will be an uplifting and emotional day.”
Money raised will be donated to The Motor Neurone Disease Association, for research, and St Richard's Hospice. To make a donation to Dan’s fund please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/DanPallett
St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families. Each year the hospice team supports over 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire.
Patients are cared for in Day Hospice, the 17-bed In-patient Unit or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.
In the In-patient Unit specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if they so choose, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity. St Richard’s is an independent charity and is grateful for all donations to help them to continue their work.
For more information please visit www.strichards.org.uk