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The Daisy Garland charity was set up in November 2004 to keep Daisy's memory alive and to help other little children like her.

We fund an increasing number of Ketogenic Dietitians who work in National Health Hospitals treating hundreds of children with intractable epilepsy.

We are the only charity funding full-time Ketogenic Dietitians working within NHS hospitals nationwide - each dietitian costs up to £47,000 per annum. If you think you could help us fund our next Daisy Garland Ketogenic Dietitian go to HOW YOU CAN HELP. Be in touch today.

Epilepsy affects 1 in every 100 children in the UK
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Bestival Swim

Phill Carling

Wednesday 8th September – After the long drive from Hull down to the South coast in our recently acquired camper van my wife Lucy, her pal Katie and I arrive in Portsmouth and manage to grab some rest before the weekend ahead.

Thursday 9th September – The day has finally arrived, after months of hard training I’m going to swim to Bestival. Around 50,000 people will have been excitingly getting prepared for the infamous festival on the Isle of Wight and will have been starting their journeys. All the car ferries and passenger ferries were full booked with festival goers, however 12 brave souls were about to tackle the Solent in the most primitive of ways – we were going to swim to Bestival!

I said my farewells in Portsmouth before heading over to our departure point at Gosport. I was the first to arrive but was quickly joined by 11 other swimmers from all over the country who were up for the challenge. In addition to the swimmers we were accompanied by a team of kayakers who would guide us to Ryde West Sands on the Wight Isle.

The swim would take us a distance of 3.5 - 5 miles across the Solent, tide dependent, and this stretch of water just happens to be one of the busiest stretches of water in the Country! However weather conditions were looking great, the sun was shining and winds were fairly light and we had planned our departure time to hopefully get across before the tide would really kick in.

So the time came, 9.15 am 12 swimmers set off on swim 2 Bestival 2010. I started strongly, water didn’t feel too cold and I totally put my trust in my support kayaker who I trusted to lead me in the right direction. Now I had trained – a lot. 100’s of laps in the pool, hours and hours in a local lake and I was pretty confident that I could do the distance. What I didn’t expect was that once I had set off I got the most intense race urge – not only did I want to get across safely but I wanted do it as quick as humanly possible. So that was it, head down and went as hard and fast as I could for 1hr and 24mins. I briefly stopped from time to time to have a look about, although being head on with a huge container ship was a little concerning so I ignored the other water traffic and ploughed on.

The last 15 – 20 minutes were pretty tough going when it seemed like we were so close but not quite there, but sure enough I eventually made it. I was greeted on the Wight Isle by the welcoming committee of event organisers and Lucy & Katie who had managed to get the van there in 1 piece.

The whole group managed it in great time, 1 young swim pro managed it in a new record time of 1hr 18mins which is super fast. I hadn’t quite managed that but I was still pleased as punch with my efforts.

The weekend from this point was superb, on the Friday afternoon we were invited onto the main stage to be awarded with our medals in front of 1000’s of people which was an amazing experience.

The swim was organised as a fundraiser and I managed to raise £1000 for the Daisy Garland which I’m thrilled about and I know will be appreciated. In total all swimmers raised over £17,000 for their charities, an amazing effort and an event that none of us will forget.

So all that leaves now is the question of what next – how far is it across the Channel?

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