WHAT’S it like to swim the English Channel? A Poole doctor who only started open water swimming last year will find out this summer.

Dr Annie Maggs, of Sherwood Avenue, will join a team of six raising money for the Aspire charity, which helps those with spinal cord injuries. She decided to take up the challenge during a year off following her foundation training.

“I wanted to do a personal challenge during this year and I got the idea after joining East Dorset Open Water Swimming Club,” she said. “Every week it seemed that someone had done a big event like swimming the channel so I thought I’d try that first of all as part of a relay.”

During her swim, Dr Maggs will have to battle cold; “We’re not allowed to wear a wetsuit,” and jellyfish which, she says; “I’m really scared of,” as well as combat seasickness. “The boat only goes at the same speed as the swimmer so you could be in it for up to 15 hours,” she says.

There’s also the feeling of being in true open water in the world’s busiest shipping lane to contemplate, too. “I train down at Sandbanks and stay close to the shoreline, so being in the channel with just the boat will be different,” she said.

She chose to support Aspire after witnessing the effect of spinal cord injury as part of her work. “It can happen suddenly and change your life forever.” * justgiving.com/fundraising/annabel-maggs