Connie Emmett, 10, from Cranleigh received a good luck message from her favourite author, thanks to BBC Radio Surrey.

Comedian and author, David Walliams, recorded the video message after finding out Connie was swimming the length of the English Channel to raise money for Royal Surrey County Hospital her paddling pool!

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In the message David, who swam the channel in 2006 for charity, said:

What you’re undertaking is absolutely incredible. Swimming the length of the channel in a paddling pool – I wish I’d thought of that.

He added: "It's incredible that you are using this time so positively and to help others - so I salute you. You are a superstar, young lady."

Connie in a paddling pool, swimming the length of the English Channel.Initially hoping to raise £250 for our Covid-19 appeal, Connie has raised an amazing £2,099, with donations still coming in. She took on the challenge because she wanted to support frontline NHS staff, as she explains over on her fundraising page:

During the Covid-19 lockdown I have been inspired by all the amazing people raising money for the NHS and I wanted to think of something that I could do to help as well. I love swimming and my ambition is to swim the Channel one day so I decided to attempt to swim the distance in there! My Mum worked out that it would be about 33,796 strokes.

Connie used her pocket money to buy a large paddling pool and has completed the challenge, swimming an incredible 34,000 strokes, using a bungee rope attached to the family car.  

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David Smith, Head of Fundraising for Royal Surrey County Hospital Charity, said:

Thank you Connie for taking on such an incredible challenge to support frontline staff at Royal Surrey. We are completely blown away by your dedication. The money you have raised will make a huge difference to the wellbeing of staff – during this pandemic, and beyond.

We launched our Covid-19 appeal at the end of March to support staff in the fight against Coronavirus. Thanks to generous support from the local community – including individuals, businesses and Trusts – close to £300,000 has been donated or fundraised.

Thank you to everyone who has supported.

Your donations will fund hot meals for staff, tablets to ensure staff and patients can stay connected with loved ones, and staff recuperation areas where they can catch up on vital rest after long shifts.

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