- Advertisement -
Thursday, 26 November 2020


Smile Train ambassador to become the youngest person ever to swim around The Isle of Wight

- Advertisement -

On Thursday 3rd September, twenty-three-year-old Nathan Abbott – from Littlehampton in West Sussex – will be swimming 68 miles around the coastline of the Isle of Wight, to raise awareness and money for the international children’s cleft charity, Smile Train. Completing the challenge will make Nathan only the 5th person to swim around the Isle of Wight and, the youngest person ever to successfully make it.

Nathan’s support for the cleft community stems from his own personal experience of being born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate. As a child, he required numerous surgeries and was bullied for the way he looked, spoke, and ate.

Having experienced first-hand the amazing medical care that children born with a cleft have access to in the UK, as a teenager Nathan decided to turn his attention to others around the world, who are not as fortunate, by supporting Smile Train – a charity which provides the training, funding and resources needed to empower local medical professionals so that they can offer 100% free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children living in their communities.

Baby Nathan

At the age of 16, Nathan created Freestyle 4 Smile, a non-profit fundraising movement that would allow him to raise funds and awareness for Smile Train through challenges and group events. He also underwent a series of his own personal fundraising challenges to raise money for the charity, including swimming from Littlehampton Pier to Worthing Pier and back (a distance of around 15 miles) taking place in The Race Against Tide (another 15-mile river swim), taking place in a three-day swimathon (a total of 23 miles), and organising numerous charity galas.

As a result of these incredible efforts, Nathan has raised tens of thousands of pounds for Smile Train, earning himself an Ambassadorship with the charity – as well as being recognised by Pride of Britain as Regional Fundraiser of the Year in 2019.

Nathan’s biggest challenge yet is his upcoming swim around the Isle of Wight, which is predicted to take three days to complete.


Nathan Abbott, Smile Train Ambassador, said:

“This Isle of Wight swim – which I am coining the ‘Smile of Wight’ – is the largest and most meaningful challenge I have ever undertaken, made more difficult due to the reduced training time caused by COVID-19.

“I work full time in between studying, so training has had to fit around this – come rain or shine. I’m currently swimming the equivalent of the English Channel every week!

“My mission is to continue raising awareness and funds to help provide free cleft surgery and care to children in other parts of the world with Smile Train, something I started seven years ago.

“Ultimately, fundraising saved my life and I will endeavour to impact the lives of as many people around the world as I can. For every £150 raised, we can cover the cost of a cleft surgery for one child in need, and I want to cover as many as I possibly can.”

Ian Vallance, Director, Smile Train UK, said:

“Nathan’s commitment and passion for Smile Train is absolutely outstanding and never-ending. He is an extremely tenacious, kind, and approachable young man, who never ceases to amaze us with his fundraising efforts and capabilities.

“He is a huge inspiration to others who are born with a cleft, not just in the UK but also globally – and we are privileged to have his support!

“All monies raised by Nathan will allow Smile Train to continue creating more forever smiles for children across the globe.”

To support Nathan and Smile Train and learn more about the Smile of Wight challenge, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/smileofwight.

Sign up to receive full FREE access to charity news and special sector offers.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Stay Connected


Must Read

Young carer gets a super track day to remember with Patrice Evra

It's not often a top football star turns up on your doorstep and reveals you're being whisked away for a super track day –...

New discovery shows that brain protein could be starting point for new treatments for pancreatic cancer

A researcher in the US part-funded by the Scottish cancer research charity, Worldwide Cancer Research, has found a protein in the brain that plays...

Employment News

NSPCC appoints new Director of Strategy and Knowledge

THE NSPCC has appointed Dr Maria Neophytou as its new Director of Strategy and Knowledge. Maria joins the NSPCC from Impetus, a charity supporting young...

Centrepoint appoints new Director of Fundraising

LEADING youth homelessness charity Centrepoint has announced Julie Milnes as the charity's new Director of Fundraising. In a fundraising career spanning over 17 years, Julie...

Dame Julie Mellor to join Engage Britain Board of Trustees

NEW charity, Engage Britain, has announced that Dame Julie Mellor will join its Board of Trustees. Julie, who joins the Board in November 2020, brings...

Related News

Hidden talent helps local charity diversify to generate much-needed funds

THE hidden talent of a local charity employee has generated much-needed funds, thanks to the brainwave of Huddersfield based IT provider Probado and the...

Art auction in aid of Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice is now underway

An art auction in aid of the UK's only baby-specific hospice has begun, attracting a donation from one of Britain's best-loved illustrators and deaf award-winning...

New research reveals the impact extracurricular learning has on young people’s wellbeing

NEW research by The Duke of Edinburgh's Award (DofE) has revealed the transformative impact extracurricular learning, such as volunteering, developing a skill or getting better...

Bucks care worker surprised with special award to celebrate 40 years of service

BRENDA Dawson has worked for charity care provider Ambient Support and its predecessors for 40 years as a care worker, a milestone celebrated with...

#NEMovement campaign launches across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear

A new campaign has been launched across Northumberland and Tyne & Wear to support people’s physical and mental health during the second national lockdown...
- Advertisement -