A HIGH Wycombe diabetes sufferer has helped raise hundreds of pounds after swimming the English Channel for charity.

Liz Guttfield, from Hughenden Valley, took the plunge with 11 other swimmers in aid of Diabetes UK and has so far raised more than £1,300.

The 32-year-old, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes last year, and her team took the plunge at the last minute as weather conditions had stopped them from setting off earlier in the week.

Talking to the Bucks Free Press on Tuesday, Miss Guttfield, an accountant from Bramley End, said: "There was a window of time between last Sunday and Friday.

"Friday was the last day we could have gone so it was really hit or miss.

"People weren't sure whether it was going to be good or not.

"It was the last day so we just took the plunge."

The competitors were split into two teams of six and set off from Dover at 2am.

They took it in turns to swim and spent around an hour in the water at a time before swapping over.

Miss Guttfield took the plunge three times and ended up completing the final leg, finishing the race for her team in 14 hours - beating their target time of 15 hours.

The keen swimmer, who has been training in open water since May, said: "That last swim, the pressure was on because everyone knew it was going to finish in that swim. I really had to get a wriggle on."

In total the team has helped raise around £18,000 for Diabetes UK, but swimming in the busiest shipping channel did have its hair-raising moments.

Miss Guttfield added: "I was the only one who was in (the water) when a big tanker came along.

"Everyone was standing on the outside of the boat.

"I looked up and there was the most enormous tanker going in front of me that we were really, really close to.

"I literally had to stop and tread water for a bit."

Donations can still be made to Miss Guttfield's swim by visiting www.justgiving.com/ guttfieldswimsthechannel.