A FORMER Worcester Warriors star is preparing to swim the English Channel to raise money for a children’s charity.

Alex Grove is taking on the challenge in a show of support for Acorns Children’s Hospice and its work to support families across the region.

Mr Grove is a familiar face with the hospice, regularly visiting with his former teammates.

He 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.”

The Ex-Scotland international will attempt the ambitious 21-mile challenge from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France next summer, on August 1 and 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.

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He added: “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.”

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.”

To sponsor Alex for his English Channel swim visit his JustGiving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/alex-channel-swim