EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Larkhill Primary School pupil Jessica Soulsby swam the equivalent of the English Channel to raise money for SUDEP Action.

She was inspired to take on the 21-mile challenge in memory of Service child Charlie Burns, who tragically died of Sudden Unexplained Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) in October 2011.

Jessica wanted to raise £1,344, equivalent to the number of lengths it took to complete, but is expected to exceed that total in the final tally.

SWIM-2She was accompanied by Collette Fear, British Army 100m and 200m breaststroke champion, based at 32 Regt RA in Larkhill, and will be presented with a Blue Peter Badge by Claire Perry MP, who is an active supporter of the charity.

Over the last two years, Charlie’s parents, Baz and Jan and his sister Izzie have raised more than £28,000 through a range of fundraising activities. They said: “The Burns family would like to express their sincere thanks to Jessica and the Soulsby family for their time and commitment in this challenge.

“Jessica is a true inspiration to others and her challenge was no mean feat to any adult let alone a child of eight. We know that the money and awareness will certainly go a long way towards our campaign, to make all parents aware of SUDEP.”

To find out more about SUDEP, go to www.sudep.org or click here to see our article ‘Light from the darkness’ (Army&You autumn 2013)

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