A FATHER is taking on the challenge of swimming 140 miles of the River Wye to raise funds for a Hereford college which has turned his daughter's life around.

Colin Stone, 49, from Dorset, set off from the source of the River Wye at Plynlimon on Tuesday and hopes to raise thousands of pounds for the Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) where his daughter Shani is a student.

He plans to swim the route of the River Wye in just seven days, ending his challenge in Chepstow.

Colin said: “Shani was educated in Dorset at a mainstream school and although was successful academically, she found it hard with the limited resources they had for independent living. RNC has totally turned that round – she’s so much more independent."

He added that Shani felt comfortable at RNC from the first day she visited and it was that which fuelled his desire to complete a fundraising event.

He said the challenge is "a bit of an adventure".

"I’m looking forward to it," he said. "I like adrenaline and I like extreme sports.”

As the route includes rapids and dangerous undercurrents, Colin has had to wait for the right conditions to begin his challenge.

He added: “I’ve been on stand-by, knowing I could get a day’s notice – which is what happened – and now we are off. We need the river level to be as high as possible to help us down.”

Rachel Read, fundraising officer at RNC, said the college staff are all "overwhelmed" by Colin's efforts and wish him the best of luck.

To support Colin through text giving, text RWYE13 followed by a monetary amount to 70070.

To donate online visit rncb.ac.uk//,Fundraising,Colins_Big_Dip-41

If anyone would like to swim with Colin or help act as a support team during the swim call 07717 297 836.