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Actress Jessica Hynes, from Folkestone, prepares for charity sea swim

Award-winning actress Jessica Hynes is preparing to swim 4.6 miles along the Kent coast.

The Spaced star will don her goggles for the swim between the Hythe Imperial Hotel, in Hythe, and Sunny Sands beach, in Folkestone.

Actress and swimmer Jessica Hynes, who lives in Folkestone, will swim from Hythe to Sunny Sands beach this weekend. Picture: Raga Gibreel
Actress and swimmer Jessica Hynes, who lives in Folkestone, will swim from Hythe to Sunny Sands beach this weekend. Picture: Raga Gibreel

She is hoping to complete the swim one day next week, weather depending.

Mrs Hynes, who lives in Folkestone, is taking on the challenge for two charities, one being the Folkestone community hub, which has been supporting vulnerable people during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Mrs Hynes is one of many volunteers who have worked at the hub, which provides help by delivering groceries, collecting prescriptions or just being a voice on the end of the phone.

The second charity is Green Kordofan, which supports children in a refugee camp in Yida, South Sudan and was founded by Raga Gibreel, also from Folkestone.

The registered charity is currently raising money for essential hygiene facilities such as washing and toilet blocks, to make the camp safe for the children who have been displaced by war.

Paddington 2 star Mrs Hynes said: "I volunteered for the Folkestone community hub at the beginning of lockdown and was so impressed with the kindness and dedication of all the volunteers.

Mrs Hynes, is raising money for two charities. Picture: Raga Gibreel
Mrs Hynes, is raising money for two charities. Picture: Raga Gibreel

"The many vulnerable people they helped and are continuing to help would not have coped and survived without them.

"I am committed to supporting people who are supporting people, now and in the uncertain times ahead.

"We are such a kind, good natured town and the experience made me so proud to live here.

"I met Raga about six months ago through a mutual friend Arike Stan Grant, a local pillar of the community and an incredible man, mentor and leader.

"He died during the lockdown and I reached out to Raga, who runs a charity for war orphans in her home country of Sudan, as I knew they were close and wanted to know if she was coping okay.

Mrs Hynes accepting her BAFTA last year. Credit: BAFTA Youtube Channel
Mrs Hynes accepting her BAFTA last year. Credit: BAFTA Youtube Channel

"We went for a social distance walk to the sea and I went for a swim.

"By the time I came out of the water I'd decided to do a sponsored swim for her charity Green Kordofan and Folkestone community hub.

"Green Kordofan supports young people who have been orphaned and displaced as a result of war.

"I am proud to swim for them and think she is an inspiration to us all."

Mrs Hynes, who likes to swim in the sea every day if she can, says the cold will be the toughest part of the challenge.

The actress in a scene for Seagull, a film inspired by Folkestone. Picture: Seb Garraway
The actress in a scene for Seagull, a film inspired by Folkestone. Picture: Seb Garraway

She added: "If it's too cold and windy I will postpone until Wednesday morning when the forecast is better.

"It shouldn't take longer than two hours if the current is on our side."

The thespian has an impressive catalogue of work.

Her TV roles include The Royle Family, Spaced, which she also co-wrote with Simon Pegg, Doctor Who and Years and Years.

Film credits includes Shaun of the Dead, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, Confetti and Bridget Jones's Baby.

Mrs Hynes also directed, wrote and stared in The Fight, which was filmed in Folkestone.

Scenes were filmed at the Harbour Arm, the coastal park,The Warren, in Cornwallis Avenue and Radnor Park.

She also stared in The Seagull, another film shot in Folkestone.

She also has won many awards, including a television BAFTA for best female performance in a comedy programme for There She Goes and two British Comedy Awards.

Mrs Hynes said that people in Folkestone have coped incredibly during lockdown.

She said: "The people I have met have been incredible - cheerful, kind and resilient."

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