Pride of Britain: Jo Hardill shortlisted as 2023 Channel Islands Fundraiser of the Year

Jo Hardill from Guernsey has been nominated for an ITV Channel Pride of Britain award.

In 2022, she swam the English Channel and raised nearly £2,800 for two local charities that have played a major role in her life.

The first was Diabetes Guernsey - Jo was diagnosed with Type 1 more than seven years ago but was determined that it wouldn't dominate her life.

She says: "Being diabetic and the challenges that I've done really has shown me that actually, I've got to take control and be in control of it, not for it to be able to control me and tell me what I can and can't do.

"It doesn't matter if you have a disability or an illness, if you put your mind to it, you can achieve nearly anything that you want to".

Jo spent 18 months preparing for her swim across the English Channel. Credit: ITV Channel

The second charity Jo raised money for was the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation.

She knows first-hand how important the organisation is for many islanders - her son, Jake, was born at just 29 weeks.

He's now 12 and loves to be active like his mum.

He says: "She's lovely, caring. She will try to do whatever you say and she'll get you wherever you want to go and she'll boost you when you're down.

"Even with all the challenges that she's done, she's always got to the finish line no matter what happens. Even with having the diabetic, it won't stop her".

The charity is very thankful for Jo's efforts, its co-founder calling her a "bundle of energy".

Jo Priaulx says: "She finds a different challenge every year, I'm actually really proud of her. She's brilliant. I can't say enough about what she does and what she gives. She never stops giving actually".

Jo needed the support of the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation when her son Jake was born at just 29 weeks. Credit: ITV Channel

Her channel swim from Dover in England to northern France was a gruelling affair that took nearly 14 hours.

Jo did it in a team of three, and training took 18 months.

While the challenge might sound like a nightmare for many, it's the exact type of activity Jo enjoys, according to her husband.

Jokingly describing his wife as "mad" and a "bit crazy", Guy Hardill says his wife gets involved in "anything and everything".

He also says "She hasn't let the diagnosis slow her down and she's taken it head-on which is typical of Jo".

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