Wheathampstead schoolboy makes a big splash for classmate

Ben Parrish on his sponsored swim

Ben Parrish on his sponsored swim - Credit: Archant

When 10-year old Ben Parrish first met his friend Evie Taylor, they were only a few months old.

The intervening years have seen them become firm friends and classmates at Beech Hyde School in Wheathampstead.

But three years ago Evie began to suffer from epileptic fits which have increased in regularity and severity. Completely unprompted, Ben decided that he wanted to do something positive and help Evie and children like her by raising money for the charity Young Epilepsy.

Having never swum more than 28 lengths at his Saturday morning swimming lessons, Ben set himself the target of swimming a full mile (64 lengths) of the new Westminster Lodge pool.

He wrote to Young Epilepsy and set up a Just Giving page of his own volition without any parental input. On Sunday, supported by his mum and dad and Evie’s mother, Andrea, he managed to complete the full distance without any breaks in just over 50 minutes.

News of his challenge spread quickly and his Just Giving page began to be shared by many. It meant that Ben smashed his modest fundraising target of £150 by raising £1,300.

Speaking after the event Ben said that he “was really pleased and a bit proud of my swim. It wasn’t as bad as I thought but I didn’t want to do any more lengths.

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“I knew I would finish because so many people had sponsored me and also I was going to have a treat if I did it”.

Ben is a chip off the old block – his dad Paul has done numerous Ironman-type events for charity and will shortly be part of a team swimming the English Channel

Should anybody wish to support Young Epilepsy through Ben’s event his Just Giving page is http://www.justgiving.com/Ben-Parrish