A gruelling cross-channel swim completed by two teams of intrepid teams from Jaguar Land Rover battle has sailed past its £160,000 fund-raising target – amassing £185,000 for Ben.
JLR managing director Jeremy Hicks battled tides, fatigue and chilly waters to swim 21-miles across the English Channel along with 13 of his colleagues, in a two team relay.
The teams set off at 10pm on August 24th and reached French soil on at around 2.30pm the following day, resulting in a total time of around 16.5 hours.
As part of this, Hicks also challenged his UK Retailer network to raise funds for Ben by taking part in their own swim challenges in local swimming pools, as well as the JLR Bike challenge and the JLR Run from Ben HQ to Dover which is taking place on September 14th.
The challenge is part of Ben’s second ever Industry Leader Challenge (ILC), which requires an industry leader to achieve a fundraising target over the course of a year, for Ben.
Hicks took up the ILC baton from Daksh Gupta, chief executive of Marshall Motor Holdings, and chose the Jaguar Land Rover English Channel Swim Challenge as he felt it was something that would test him physically and mentally whilst also requiring an extraordinary team effort.
Commenting on the success of JLR’s mammoth fund-raisng effort in aid of Ben, Hicks said: “My colleagues and I who took part in the JLR Channel Swim are beyond grateful to all of our sponsors who have raised an incredible sum of money for a very worthy cause, our industry charity.
“Swimming the channel was an extraordinary experience and one I won’t ever forget.
“I have to say that training for the big swim over the past nine months has changed my life and I’m definitely going to keep swimming. Not only has it helped improve my physical health, but also my mental health and wellbeing too. So, watch this space for my next swim challenge.”
He added: “Thanks to everyone who took part in the challenge and supported it, we are very proud of our industry and our industry charity.”
Jools Tait, business development director at Ben, said: “We are in absolute awe of Jeremy and all Jaguar Land Rover colleagues who took part in the English Channel swim.
“It was certainly no easy task as each member of the team trained for around 9 months and then had to battle the cold water with no wetsuit to protect them from the elements.
“We’re also incredibly grateful to everyone at Jaguar Land Rover who took part in the other activities, such as holding a Ben Week, cycle rides and their own swim challenges.”
Tait said that the funds raised by JLR would help Ben to reach even more people in the industry, allowing it to provide more practical support to those who need it.
She added: “Our services are funded entirely – and can only continue – through the generous support of the industry.
“Fundraising activities such as this are vital in ensuring that we can continue to provide high quality, sustainable support to industry colleagues and their families as they face life’s toughest challenges.”