Evertonian turns blue over Channel swim

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Braving the cold to raise awareness for Woodland hospice. ©Facebook/Michael Cullen

‘Speedo Mick’ Cullen holds a sign up with details of his Just Giving page at a match. Pic © Facebook/Michael Cullen

A brave Evertonian is embracing the cold in nothing but Speedos to raise money and awareness for a charity that helped his friend’s family.

Michael Cullen, swam across the English Channel in aid of Woodlands Hospice, and is raising awareness for his efforts by attending Everton matches clad only in swimming trunks.

Michael, originally from Dovecot, now lives in London and decided that previous efforts to raise money for charity has left him wanting to do more. He is hoping to raise £30,000 with further swimming endeavours.

His inspiration has combined his love of helping others and his football team, Everton FC. He hopes this swim will raise money for the hospice in North Liverpool after a friend’s late father was given palliative care there before died.

Talking to JMU Journalism, Michael said: “Whenever I see a new donation, it gives me that extra push I need with my training. I’m funding the costs of the swims from my own pocket so 100% of the donations are going straight to Woodlands hospice.

“My training is intense at the minute. It involves getting in very cold water, swimming in a pool for hours and eating loads of food, but it is an exciting journey and one that I am enjoying.”

Michael, known as ‘Speedo Mick’, has had donations from Everton Football Club in the form of signed shirts and footballs from the players, while the number of donations on his official Just Giving page currently stands at £21,000.

Events fundraising manager for Woodlands hospice, Tracy Barnes, said: “We’re delighted that Mick has drummed up so much awareness and support for the hospice. End of life care is a fundamental part of what we do here at the hospice and the money raised will be invaluable in helping families and those staying here at the end of their life have the most comfortable stay possible.”

About Lisa Rimmer, JMU Journalism