Paul Smith, a Royal Navy Veteran and OBE, will set off rowing from Bembridge to the Needles this month in preparation for his row across the English Channel, which he is undertaking in May 2019 with a goal of raising £250,000 for Breast Cancer Haven.

Paul was seriously hurt in a road traffic accident in 1991 and spent 12 years suffering with locked-in syndrome. Despite now living with life-changing injuries he has dedicated the last 14 years undertaking extreme physical fundraising challenges.

Previously Paul has supported other charities by pushing himself in his wheelchair from Plymouth to the Emirates Stadium in North London, climbing the rock of Gibraltar, abseiling and skydiving.

Having recently 'retired' from physical fundraising, he has been inspired to take on just one more challenge in memory of his friend Marjorie Anne Walker. Marjorie was the former chair of Portsmouth Breast Friends.

Paul said: “I feel excited. It’s going to be different, it’s going to be hard, but a bit of pain is nothing compared to what people affected by breast cancer are going through.”

He added: “Marjorie told me that I was an inspiration to her but what she didn’t realise was how inspirational she was to me.”

Paul, who turns 60 at the end of the year, is hoping to complete the challenge in six hours and is now looking for people to sponsor him.

Paul said: “I need sponsors for the training and sponsors for the event itself because we need a safety craft with me at all times. I can’t swim anymore, I can only tread water.”

To support Paul’s ‘Challenge the Channel’ fundraiser, please visit his JustGiving page.