Local GP’s pier to pier swim in aid of hospice

Gilly Brown and Dave Oakley SUS-160722-072552001
Gilly Brown and Dave Oakley SUS-160722-072552001

Eastbourne GP Gilly Brown is aiming to swim from Eastbourne Pier to Hastings Pier to raise funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Gilly, a GP at the Enys Road Surgery, where she is known as Dr Gilly Coutts, will undertake the challenge on August 20 and is currently hard in training.

She says: “I have never swam this sort of distance before , so it is somewhat daunting.”

Gilly will be joined on the swim by Dave Oakley.

The pair will be setting of at around 6am on August 20. The swim is estimated to be a length of 14 miles.

“We will be swimming about two miles out to sea when passing Norman’s Bay, and so will be needing a support boat which will be captained by George Evans.”

Gilly has support though from other staff at the Enys Road surgery who are eager to help raise fund themselves.

Gilly said: “Now several of our reception staff and nurses are going to walk the distance, which is nearly 17 miles by land, and my daughter and a few others are going to run it , so we are collecting quite a group together.”

Now Gilly needs the local community to get behind her efforts with the aim of raising a good sum for St Wilfred’s Hospice.

She said: “We chose this Charity because of the fantastic, hard, caring work that they do, and most people at some stage will come into contact with St Wilfrid’s.”

Gilly has set up a Just Giving page under my working name of Gillian Coutts ( https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GILLIAN-COUTTS )- pier to pier swim. There are also sponsor forms at the Enys Road Surgery.

Both Eastbourne Pier and Hastings Pier have been in the news after being badly damaged by fires. Both have now recovered with Hastings Pier re-opening in June after a multi-million pound appeal.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice provides specialist care for people with any progressive and advanced disease. It serves a population of 230,000 people from Eastbourne and the surrounding areas. Every year, over 2,000 people in this area may need our support.

The relative of one patient commented: “The level of care, compassion, and kindness is not something we have experienced before or since our involvement with St Wilfrid’s. There isn’t a word big enough or special enough to thank you.”

For more on the hospice visit www.stwhospice.org.

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