NORTH East law firm Sweeney Miller is helping to keep afloat a family’s dream to swim the channel for charity this summer.

The Sunderland-based solicitors is sharing the cost of a pilot boat to ensure the safety of businessman Phil Pugh and his two sons Rod and Alex, who are swimming the channeSweeney Miller chartiy channel swim helpl to raise money for the national children’s cancer research charity, Kidscan.

Phil, from Newcastle, who has planned the charity swim to coincide with his 60th birthday, explained they he and his sons have allocated a week in June to complete the fundraising channel challenge.

He said: “We are swimming out of season when the water temp is lower than recommended, but we’ll wear specialist suits to combat the cold.

“However to keep us safe we have recruited a pilot boat at a cost of £2,600.

“Sweeney Miller has kindly stepped in with a £250 donation to help cover the cost and we are hoping more companies will follow suit. In return they can advertise and promote their contribution on the boat. The more pledges we get the better as any money raised over the boat hire fee will go towards Kidscan.”

Phil, owner of digital communications firm Way2Communicate, chose Kidscan after working on a project at the University of Salford, where the cancer charity is based.

Paul Miller of Sweeney Miller said: “I have known Phil for several years as his company supply our team with mobile phones.  When we heard about his incredible charity effort, we were only too happy to help.”

Phil added: “We aim to complete the 22 miles in 24 hours but history shows that it could take many days if the weather and tides don’t play into our hands, which is why we’ve allocated a week.

“We have all been training very hard, which has involved open water swims, special diets, heavy exercise and even sitting in cold baths!  Hopefully it will all be worth it when we meet up with family on the French side of the channel.”

Phil meanwhile is already looking ahead to his 61st birthday – with a planned two and a half month charity cycle-ride along the length of the famous Route 66 in America.

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