Shropshire nurse Melissa set for Channel charity challenge

By Lisa O'Brien | Shrewsbury | Health | Published:

A Shropshire nurse is taking the ultimate plunge – and will swim across the English Channel in a 22-mile fundraising relay with three friends.

Nurse Melissa Compton has been cold water and ice swimming for a couple of years

Melissa Compton, who works for The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), will be setting off first.

They will be aiming to swim in relay between Dover and Calais – with each member swimming for an hour in succession until they reach the shores of France.

The anticipated 18-hour swim will take place between June 3 to 10, depending on the weather.

It will be a tough challenge as water temperatures are expected to only be between 12C (53.6F) and 14C (57.2F).

The team – which also includes Keith Clarke, Emma Heggenbath, Janet Mills and reserve Karin Daelemans – are known as the Faffing Frosties.

They have been training throughout the winter to prepare for their epic challenge.

Melissa Compton

Melissa, who has worked for the trust for five years, has been open water and ice swimming for two years and, in her time off, she regularly tackles the likes of the River Severn and Tal-y-Llyn – whatever the weather.


The team will be raising funds for SaTH’s own charity, as well as The Association of Glycogen Storage Disease.

They are hoping to raise enough money to enable SaTH Charity to buy a bladder scanner for the Intensive Therapy Unit (ITU) at The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, where Melissa works.

She said: “I was a reserve in the Channel relay last year, so I am thrilled that I am now part of the actual event. It will be a tough challenge but one that I am very much looking forward to.

“All my colleagues think that I am nuts, but cold water swimming is something that I really enjoy doing.


“I am prepared for the cold temperatures, as I have been cold water and ice swimming for a couple of years now.

“I am hoping that, with everyone’s support, we can raise enough to buy a new bladder scanner for ITU.”

The event has been organised through the Channel Swimming Association.

To sponsor Melissa and the team visit

Lisa O'Brien

By Lisa O'Brien
Senior Reporter - @lisaobrien_Star

Senior reporter based at Shropshire Star's head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.


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