Plucky Philippa aiming to complete 40 cold-water swims for Withybush

By Paul Evans   |   Content editor   |
Wednesday 8th December 2021 4:25 pm
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Plucky Philippa Evans from Pembrokeshire is aiming to complete 40 cold-water swims to raise money for Ward 12 at Withybush Hospital in memory of her dad.

Philippa, of Haverfordwest started the swims on October 16, which was the one-year anniversary of the death of Gerald ‘The Butcher’ Evans, who was a well-known and well-liked butcher in Milford Haven.

As if 40 winter swims in the sea doesn’t sound difficult enough, fifty-four-year-old Philippa will be having a spinal operation in the middle of the challenge, which she is hoping to complete by April next year!

Philippa, a health care support practitioner at Bro Cerwyn Day Hospital, said: “This will be a huge challenge for me as I will be having spinal surgery in the middle of it. But I wanted to fundraise for Ward 12, because they were amazing whenever dad went there. Everyone loved my dad, he was always smiling and laughing and was the biggest joker.”

“Before this event I had never swam in the water. I have completed my original plan of 30 swims but have upped this to 40, so I can do 10 swims after surgery.

“The swims will be taking place throughout my recovery, which will make it extra tough and I will be doing them at beaches across Pembrokeshire, including Broad Haven, Little Haven, Fishguard and Angle.

“My mum and other family members have got involved whether it’s been joining me on the swims or helping with the admin – it has given us all something to focus on. I know Dad will be looking down and feeling proud that we are all coming together and turning a negative into a positive.

“I have completed 30 swims now and I am blown away by the support and donations I’ve received. Finally, I can’t tell you how liberating it feels for the half an hour you’re in the sea.”

She has already beaten her target of raising £1,500 and all money raised will be split between Ward 12 at Withybush Hospital and @gettheboysalift.

Nicola Llewelyn, Head of Hywel Dda Health Charities, the official charity of Hywel Dda University Health Board, said everyone was in awe of Philippa over her challenge.

“The support of our local communities enables us to provide services over and above what the NHS can provide in the three counties of Hywel Dda and we are extremely grateful for every donation we receive,” said Nicola.

For more details about the charity and how you can help support local NHS patients and staff, go to www.hywelddahealthcharities.org.uk

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