A DORCAN Academy student will be swimming the English Channel in memory of his great-grandfather this week.

Calum Stephens will be taking on the mammoth challenge as part of a relay team of six young swimming enthusiasts – with the 15-year-old first in line to give the team a god head start.

The group, who come from all over the south west, were set to take to the waters today but, due to weather predictions, their start has been pushed back to the end of the week.

Year 11 student Calum hopes that his gruelling swim will cast a light on the Alzheimer’s Society after his great-grandfather, Richard Bowler, suffered with the condition for six years before his death in 2012.

“I am quite nervous to take part but excited at the same time,” Calum said.

He added on his Just Giving page: “I will be remembering my Bampy, and all the fond memories I have of him, particularly his crazy stories and all of his birds that he had.

“We all miss him loads and I think this challenge will make him proud and I know he will be watching me and keeping me safe.”

The teenager first got into swimming at the young age of four when he joined the Swindon Dolphins club.

Since then he has become no stranger to taking part in a variety of challenges by turning his interests to open water swimming and triathlon training.

He recently trained with South West Swim and Swindon Phoenix Tri Club and Calum now has many other club awards to his name.

“I didn’t like any other sports growing up,” Calum said.

“It was when my dad took me swimming that I enjoyed it so I kept it up.

“When you’re in a pool, you only swim up and down and that is why I got into open water swimming. You get used to how cold it is but it is more of a challenge.”

The waters of the Channel are expected to be around 16C when Calum bravely starts his hour swim later this week and, through the support of his family and friends, the teenager has already managed to raise over £300.

Calum’s dad Marc said: “We are very proud of who Calum has become, his teenage years have seen a difference in his approach to swimming but he is still doing an awful lot and we are also proud that he was the one who decided to raise money for a charity so close to our hearts.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/calum-stephens