A High Wycombe man who used to be afraid of water is set to swim the equivalent of the English Channel to raise money for charity.

Peter Webb, 67, is taking on swimming challenge Swim 22 between February 22 and May 22 for Diabetes UK after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2009.

Mr Webb, who is a retired engineer, said: “My fundraising target is £1,440 because 1,440 is the number of lengths I’ll need to swim to cover the 22 miles.

“It’s ambitious but setting a big target will keep me motivated over the course of the three-month challenge.

“I learnt to swim in my early thirties and I’ve never really lost the thrill of overcoming the fear I used to have. It’s always a real rush when I first get into the water.”

Mr Webb, who is also the treasurer of the High Wycombe Diabetes UK group, added: “I’ve been involved with the local group for five years now.

“As a group we try to raise awareness locally and help people with diabetes understand the condition a little better.”

Jill Steaton, Diabetes UK’s regional head for the south east, said: “We are delighted that Peter is making a splash for Diabetes UK.

“The lengths that he is going to will bring us closer to our vision of a world where diabetes can do no harm.

“Swim22 is perfect if you want to challenge yourself to get fitter at your own pace and in your own time. You can swim in your local pool alone or, better still, get your family, friends and colleagues involved.

“You can even split the 22 miles between a team to make it easier for everyone. Our dedicated team will be on hand to support you from start to finish.”

Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly.

To sponsor Mr Webb, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Peter-Webb.