Former Worcester Warriors’ star Alex Grove is set to make a real splash for Acorns Children’s Hospice – by swimming the busiest shipping lane in the world.
Retired sportsman Alex Grove will swim the English Channel to raise money for Acorns and its vital work caring for children and families across Worcester and the West Midlands.
The father-of-two is a familiar face at Acorns for the Three Counties having visited the charity’s Worcester-based hospice with his ex-teammates.
Alex said: “During my time at Worcester Warriors we worked closely with Acorns and I remember returning home and reflecting on my first visit and thinking that Acorns is an incredibly special place. Given the seriousness of the children’s conditions, everyone seemed very positive and there were always smiles on faces.
“My wife, Tash, and I are extremely lucky to have two healthy children, Imogen and Ottilie. We still live in Worcester, not far from the hospice, so choosing this wonderful charity was an easy decision.”
Ex-Scotland international Alex will attempt the ambitious 21-mile challenge from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France next summer, on August 1.
The 32-year-old has already begun a serious training programme, having completed a number of marathon swims, including the Great North Swim at Lake Windermere, Dock to Dock at London’s Royal Victoria Docks and the Thames Marathon.
Alex said: “Each swim was unique and presented its own difficulties; be it the distance, water temperature or conditions. I learned a great deal from each swim.
“The English Channel, however, is seen as the pinnacle in endurance swimming and holds a special allure for long distance swimmers who travel from all over the world.”
The feat is also helping Alex fill the sporting void since hanging up his boots after a 12-year career as a professional rugby player.
Alex explained: “I loved those years; the camaraderie, the competition, the sharing of the highs and lows and the emotional rollercoasters that are part and parcel of sport with close teammates. I had finally joined what many retired sportsmen and women refer to as the ‘real world’.
“During my rugby career, I was able to recognise what it was that I truly valued about the game and once I retired, I set about filling that void. I wanted to take myself out of that comfort zone again. The magnitude of this challenge will do just that.”
Mel Hall, Area Fundraiser for Acorns, said: “What an inspiration! Swimming the English Channel is a phenomenal feat and we’re thrilled Alex has chosen to support Acorns with this epic fundraiser.
“As a charity that relies on fundraising to survive, we simply wouldn’t be here without people like Alex, who are willing to go that extra mile to help us continue our work caring for children and families. We wish him the best of luck with his training and will all be cheering him on next summer as he swims to victory.”
Acorns Children’s Hospice provides specialist palliative care for children and young people with life limiting and life threatening conditions as well as support for their families.
In the past year, the charity has cared for more than 780 children across Worcester and the West Midlands, and supported over 1,220 families, including those who are bereaved.
It costs £27,000 per day to provide Acorns care and support services and the charity relies on generous donations and fundraising by the local community for the majority of this amount.
To sponsor Alex for his English Channel swim visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-channel-swim
To find out more about how you can support Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk/support
Photo caption: Ex-Worcester Warrior Alex Grove is taking on the ultimate endurance swim for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
For more information or for interview, photograph or filming opportunities, contact the PR and Communications team:
Notes to editors:
Due to the sensitive nature of Acorns care services it refrains from using the words ‘terminal’ or ‘terminally ill’ in its press releases and public communications when describing the children who use Acorns and the conditions that they have. Instead, Acorns uses the words ‘life limited’, ‘life limiting’, or ‘life threatening’. Acorns kindly requests that you respect this in your communications when referring to Acorns Children’s Hospice. Acorns children have a lot of living to do. Thank you.
• It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorns services providing care for children and support for their families. The charity relies heavily on donations to fund the majority of its activities.
• To find out more about Acorns, please visit www.acorns.org.uk