A charitable student from Southport is swimming the equivalent of the length of Ukraine to raise money to help innocent civilians caught up in the war.

Emily Kippax, 20, and the University of Central Lancashire swim team are a week into their mission to complete 346.6 miles as they raise money for The British Red Cross Society.

The student, who studies Paramedic Science, said she felt “helpless” after seeing footage of what was happening to the people of Ukraine.

“Ever since hearing the news of war, I have been unable to stop thinking about the pure fear and pain the innocent families and civilians are devastatingly being put through.”

Struggle for basic supplies

After Russia’s decision to invade the country three weeks ago, the Ukrainian people have been left with no choice to flee whilst others who remain struggle for basic supplies such as food, water and electricity.

“I came up with the idea to do the swim after googling the length of Ukraine and suggested it to the team, as it being 22,000 lengths I knew I would need their help.

University of Central Lancashire swimming club
University of Central Lancashire swimming club – picture granted by Emily Kippax

“At first not everyone was on board. I remember my best friend on the team saying, ‘How many lengths?’ in quite a shock.

“But now we have 14 members who are fully committed to the fundraiser.”

So far, the team have managed to swim 4,695 lengths (73.4 miles) and have raised £3,500 just a week into their challenge.

‘No idea if they will return’

Emily said: “The money will go directly to The British Red Cross for food, water, shelter and medical supplies.

“These will help the injured who are fighting day and night to protect their country, loved ones, and refuges who are having to flee their country with no idea if they will return.”

With over 273 miles left to go, Emily and the other brave swimmers are confident that by the end of this month they will be able to complete the task.

[Featured image courtesy of Emily Kippax]