Catterick Garrison woman joined by dolphins for English Channel training swim

Photo: Daz Martin Photography.

A Catterick Garrison woman in training to swim the English Channel for charity was joined by a pod of dolphins for a training session.

Verity Green, 40, was photographed while swimming in the sea at Roker, near Sunderland, on Sunday.

The advanced physiotherapist, who works for County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust, is planning to swim the Channel in just over a month to raise money for Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, a charity which has helped her.

Verity said: “The funniest thing about this all was that I was still near the start of my four-hour swim so I was quite task-focused.

“I stopped to look where this boat was going – it turned out to be the harbour master – and saw some jumping in the distance and smiled.

“I am kind of glad I didn’t see them at the time they were that close, there is something about not freaking out that means I’m not disturbing their habitat.”

The photos were taken by photographer Daz Martin, who runs Daz Martin Photography.

He had been taken photos of the dolphins when he spotted Verity in the water.

Verity added: “When I saw the photo afterwards I was amazed.

“I couldn’t believe what the perspective must be for everyone looking down from the pier.

“I was so grateful to track down Daz and for him to share the pictures for the fundraising, and the awareness and donations that have come as a result.”

Verity, who has been deaf since she was a baby, has chosen the charity because she has benefited from having a hearing dog.

She swam at a high level as a child and was a member of the Great Britain in the Senior Deaf Team from the age of 12.

However, when she was 17 she found she had Menieres Disease which affected her balance and vision, and ended her swimming career.

Now an adult, Verity has found that it is easier for her to swim outdoors and she is hoping to realise a childhood dream of swimming the Channel and raise money for the charity.

She added: “Hearing Dogs for Deaf People make a difference in so many ways — for me it makes the difference that my dog can tell me where a sound it coming from.

“I can answer the doorbell to the postman and get my own parcel, or even for the neighbours.

“I can also be alerted to a smoke alarm at night, or a fire siren at work.

“More importantly by my deafness becoming visible, people change their own behaviour and become much more deaf aware, just because they see my dog and realise I am deaf.”

Verity’s current hearing dog Bow.

Verity says it costs £25,000 to raise, care for and fully train a hearing dog up to the point where the dog is partnered with a deaf person.

The charity then support the partnership for its working lifetime, which is usually ten years.

This makes the average overall cost of a hearing dog around £40,000.

To sponsor Verity and read more on her fundraising challenge, click here

You can follow her swim on July 30 online here.