Youngsters swim English Channel distance to raise funds for Ukrainian war victims

Six youngsters are set to swim the width of the English Channel to raise money for victims of the Ukrainian war Credit: Simon James

Six girls have completed a gruelling swimming challenge to raise money for victims of the Ukrainian war.

The youngsters, who are all members of the City of Birmingham Swim Squad, decided to swim the equivalent 21-mile distance of the English Channel to help those in the war-torn country.

Josie James, 11, Chloe (11) and Rosie Grosvenor (10), Keira (12) and Ellie Hull (10) and Ruby Rosella Peace (11) all took part in the event.

Each of the girls spent four hours in the pool, swimming a combined total of 21 miles and have so far raised more than £1,500 for the British Ukrainian Aid Charity. 

Simon James, father of Josie, said: "I am so proud of all the girls they have been absolutely amazing and really got into it."

"There were still some smiles at the end, but I think it was more relief the challenge was all done rather than a nice relaxing swim."

The youngsters have completed their swimming challenge Credit: Simon James

Mr James adds: "It's great to see them take such an interest in what is going on in the world. it was all their idea to do this and they have just done a fantastic job.

"They have raised a really good amount so far and still have money to come in yet as well which is good.

"I'm sure they will be planning other events to raise money for the cause, but first I think a good rest is in order. They have been brilliant."

Russia-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian forces in the eastern Donbas region since 2014 and declared some territory there independent.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, its troops have bombarded government-held territory.

The anticipated offensive in the east and south could end up excising a vast swath of land from Ukraine.