Jeremy Laming and Phil Carter were two members of a team of five who took on a huge challenge of swimming together as a pod from Oxford to Henley in aid of the Chiltern Centre.

What made you want to do this challenge? We were looking for something big and exciting to do to really challenge us. Jeremy is one of the organisers of Henley Swim  (From 2017 we are proud to be one of the Henley Mile’s Charity partners) so he knew a bit about what he was getting himself into but none of the team have ever done anything as big as this. At 50 miles, the course is twice the length of the Channel and will be a massive challenge for all of us. It is exciting and incredibly daunting at the same time.

Why did you choose to support the Chiltern Centre? 

I [Jeremy] was at the Council Chambers one time when the Chiltern Centre was talking. Something about the charity really struck a chord, perhaps because my wife works with children with severe learning difficulties and I know it’s a big deal. It’s a local challenge and the team felt that we could really make a difference to this small local charity. Having now been to visit the Centre we can wholeheartedly say that it is an amazing and lovely facility and were are really excited to be a part of its development. We loved seeing how it focused on not just providing care, but making life enjoyable and fun for the young people.

How did you feel after you finished?

I don’t think any of us knew what we were taking on when we decided to swim 50 miles. We swam for 10 hours on the first day, 11 hours on the second day and then eight hours on the final day.

There was a lot of emotional and physical fatigue after that, which you can’t prepare for. The longest you can train for is about a five-or six-hour stretch, so the 11-hour swim was tough. But the feeling at the end was indescribable and to have raised £9,000 for the Chiltern Centre is just an amazing thing.