Grantham teaching assistant overcomes phobia to swim the Channel

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Teaching assistant Zoe Fielding was part of a team which swam the Channel in under 15 hours yesterday - overcoming a sea phobia she has had since childhood.

Zoe, 32, was midway through her swim when she learned the news that a Leicestershire woman named Susan Taylor had died attempting the same swim the day before.

Zoe said: “We were not aware when we set off but became aware at about six hours in. One of the crew told us about it.

“It is very sad and makes you realise it is no mean feat swimming the Channel.

“It made us all make sure we were safe and were all supporting each other all the way through. But at that point we all knew we were fit enough mentally and physically to take it on, as long as there were no dramatic changes in the weather.

“No risks were taken, really.”

Zoe is a teaching assistant with Grantham Additional Needs Federation which runs Ambergate Sports College and Sandon School in Grantham. She hopes her swim will raise £1,000 for the federation.

Zoe said she has always had difficulty entering the sea and has suffered panic attacks in the past.

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Look out for the full story in this Friday’s Journal.