ARMY medic, Captain Stef Alexander, has witnessed the horrors of war in Afghanistan.

While working in the casualty evacution sphere in Kandahar he has dealt with death and serious injuries suffered by British troops on operations in the strife torn country.

Just weeks ago a close friend, an officer, who like Stef had 27 years' Army service, was badly injured in an explosion in Helmand Province.

Before he was deployed there in November last year he decided to help others by raising cash for Help for Heroes. He contacted Atherton and Leigh Swimming Club, where his 10-years-old daughter Lucy is a member, with a view to organising a sponsored swim.

This event takes place this evening (Thursday, Feb 18) at Leigh Sports Village pool where the swimmers will try to match the distance from Kabul in Afghanistan to Leigh - a distance of 3,625 miles in lengths of the baths.

Stef, who will be home on leave in time for the swim, said: “Others like my friend who have suffered injuries, lost limbs and/or suffered life changing trauma, will benefit directly from from the charity.

“I hope people will generously sponsor the swimmers taking part.”

Club secretary Lev Baddley, who plans to swim 10 lengths, said: “We are also hoping to get permission to rattle tins at a match at the stadium to boost the fund. We are also selling Help for Heroes wrist bands.”

The event starts at 7pm with the youngest swimmers completing breadths and then moving on to the older members. It is hoped the target will have been reached by 10pm .

Donations can be given on the website