A top doctor from Bristol is set to swim across the English Channel today (July 10) in an effort to raise money for research into diabetes.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Richard Baker and five of his friends have been fundraising for the cross-channel group challenge from Dover to Calais, which at 21 nautical miles is expected to take them between 12 and 18 hours – or up to three hours of swimming each.
“I’ve been training hard for this challenge over the past year by swimming in a quarry in Iron Acton and in Clifton’s lido, but I’m not underestimating how hard it’s going to be,” Richard said. “In 2013 I completed the 10k River Dart swim, which was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but it inspired me to set my goal even higher.
“My wife has just recently given birth to our second child – a little girl called Eleanor – and the whole family will be there to cheer me on so I want to make them proud. If this relay swim goes well I might even attempt a solo crossing next year.”
The 38-year-old said all money raised will go to charity group Diabetes UK, including a £500 donation from his employers, Spire The Glen Hospital, which helped kick start the consultant’s fundraising campaign.
“We’ve chosen this charity as over three million people in the UK are living with the condition – and that number is increasing,” he explained.
“Researchers estimate that by the end of the decade there will be another 700,000 people in the UK with diabetes so it’s essential that we raise funds and awareness about the issue now.”
Rob Anderson, hospital director at Spire Bristol Hospital, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Richard and his team in this challenge. Everyone who works at Spire Bristol is passionate about quality care and many take positive action to fundraise for causes close to their hearts.”

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