A Stocksbridge nurse will take on a gruelling open water swim in support of a Chapeltown-based rare disease charity.

Iain Armstrong, a nurse consultant at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital’s Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit, will tackle the ‘Swim Serpentine’ challenge in London’s Hyde Park on Saturday 17 September.

He aims to complete one mile of the Serpentine Lake in support of the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA UK), a charity he co-founded 22 years ago.

Iain, who is the organisation’s chair, has been training at Stocksbridge Leisure Centre and Ponds Forge International Sports Centre – as well as completing some open water sessions at Manvers Lake in Rotherham.

He said: “During the pandemic a lot of people in the pulmonary hypertension community have gone the extra mile for each other, and inspired by them, I want to do the same.

“I’ll be swimming one mile (1600 metres) around the same lake that the 2012 Olympic triathletes competed in. This will be very different from the warm indoor pools of Sheffield that I am used to!

“By ‘going the extra mile’ I hope to celebrate the kindness of others and maybe even inspire some people along the way. And I’ll be thinking of people with pulmonary hypertension with every stroke of this swim.”

Iain is collecting sponsorship for the PHA UK via this online fundraising page.

The PHA UK is based in Chapeltown and works nationally to support people living with the rare disease pulmonary hypertension.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) affects just 8,000 people in the UK and is caused by the thickening and stiffening of the blood vessels supplying the lungs. The life-limiting condition has no cure but can be managed with specialist care.

The Pulmonary Vascular Disease Unit at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital is one of just eight specialist PH treatment centres in the UK.