Hotelier Chris Penn to swim English Channel in aid of Hospitality Action

27 May 2015 by
Hotelier Chris Penn to swim English Channel in aid of Hospitality Action

Chris Penn, managing director of the 258-bedroom Ace hotel London Shoreditch, is currently immersing himself in cold water for hours at a time as he prepares to swim across the English Channel in aid of Hospitality Action.

Having been a long-time supporter of Hospitality Action, Penn decided he wanted to undertake an extreme challenge in support of the industry's benevolent charity, which helps those in crisis as a result of illness, poverty, domestic abuse and drug and alcohol misuse.

Penn, who has previously taken part in triathlons and ironman events, said: "I love pushing my mind and body and seeing how far it can take me. I have filled my life with challenges over the past 15 years and the more I take on, the more I want to try.

"Fewer than 2,000 people in the world have ever swum the Channel. It sounds extreme, but I want to test myself and see if I can do it.

"Hospitality Action helps anyone in the industry that has come upon hard times. They do great work and have helped many people to deal with the challenges that life throws at them, so why not use the challenge that I am throwing at myself to help them by raising much-needed funds?"

Penny Moore, chief executive of Hospitality Action, added: "The English Channel is considered by many to be the definitive long distance challenge. The water is cold and it is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. Our supporters always go to great lengths for us but this is truly one of the most extreme challenges we have been a part of.

"Last year 35.5% of the people Hospitality Action supported were suffering from a life-changing illness and 32% were in serious poverty. The money Chris will raise will ensure we can help even more people in 2015 and we all wish him the very best of luck."

It is believed that Penn will be the second hotelier to conquer the English Channel following a successful swim undertaken by Thomas Noblett, managing director of the Langdale Chase hotel on Lake Windermere, Cumbria, in 2013. Noblett completed the swim in 13 hours and 50 minutes.

A former Acorn Awards winner, Penn joined Ace hotel in 2013 from his previous role as general manager of Flemings hotel in Mayfair. Earlier in his career he worked for the Stafford hotel as resident manager and the Cavendish hotel as hotel manager.

Donations to Penn's fundraising efforts on behalf of Hospitality Action can be made by visiting: or text CPCS 99 £1 to 70070 to donate £1.

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