John O'Conner, the Welwyn-based grounds maintenance company, is supporting a cross channel swim in memory of student James Harley from Ware, who sadly passed away aged 19.
In August 2013 a team of six local friends and family will be attempting to swim the 32 kilometres across the English Channel in James's memory. The swimmers are Steve Harley (James's father) of Hewlett Packard; Nick Sheffield, Bedford University; David Kelleway, Bath University; Nick Webb, Metropolitan Police, Dean Moy, UBS; and Neil Maidement, Fujitsu.
This challenge is to raise money towards the mental health charity www.mind.org.uk.
Matt O'Conner, managing director of John O'Conner Ltd, is an enthusiastic open water swimmer. On hearing about the fund raising swim he offered his company's support with a donation to help pay for a boat with an authorised pilot for the day.
The swim will start at Shakespeare's Cliff, Dover, in the early morning and should finish at or near Cap Gris Nez (between Boulogne and Calais) some 12-14 hours later.
As well as training hard during the week with pool sessions and hundreds of cold showers, the team is also training at weekends in Dover Harbour where it has endured unreasonably cold conditions and swarms of jellyfish!
For more information on the channel swim attempt please visit the team's website:
Swimmers in white shirts, left to right: Neil Maidment, Steve Harley, Nick Webb, Dean Moy, David Kelleway and, in blue shirts front row, John Messenger and Matt O'Conner - both from John O'Conner Ltd.