Green Folk in a Rush to help ‘human fish’ Oly

Chris Payne from Green Folk (Left) and ‘Human fish’ Oly Rush pictured during a beach clean on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset

Recruiters Green Folk are living up to their name by sponsoring eco-hero Oly Rush on his next anti-plastic pollution swim.

The firm, headquartered in Hook, Hampshire, and with an office in the Cotswolds, is enabling Oly to train for his 24-hour swim around the Greek Island of Ithaca.

The 46 mile (75km) adventure is due to take place in the first week of September.

Previously, Oly has broken the round Isle of Wight record and was the first person to swim around Grand Cayman – a non-stop 37-hour effort.

These awareness and money-raising feats caught the attention of Chris Payne, who owns Green Folk.

The engineer and manufacturing recruiter pledged to fund Oly’s regular beach cleans that he does along the Dorset coast.

And he has now committed to fund Oly’s next swim that will take place later this year.

Oly, from Upton, Dorset, and dubbed the ‘human fish’, said: “Chris contacted me after seeing publicity about my swims and offered to get involved.

“He helps funds my beach cleans and also comes and joins in along with his staff.

“He really walks the walk – he means what he says and puts his money where his mouth is.

“Without the generosity of sponsors and supporters I wouldn’t be able to do the work I do, or raise the profile of plastic pollution through my swims.

“The Ithaca challenge is 46 miles and will take me between 22 and 28 hours.

“I chose this island because a friend showed me the work the Healthy Seas charity had been doing there.

“It is a good size to swim around and because the sea is warm it means I won’t have to wear a wetsuit.

“I will be out there from the middle of August and the swim will be in the first week of September and I hope to get the locals involved and even visit schools over there.”

Chris said: “Our recruitment business is carbon neutral and we use profits to help the environment – so far we’ve planted nearly 6,000 trees.

“When I saw what Oly was doing I had to get in touch and help him. His beach cleans align with what we are doing and he makes a huge difference by removing plastic.

“We are getting behind his next swim enabling hm to raise more awareness about plastic in the oceans – and money to help combat it.

“We’d urge anyone who is concerned about the environment to get behind Oly, give him their support and donate some money.”

Thanks to the sponsorship of Green Folk, all money donated will go to Project Planet and Greece-based Healthy Seas.

Ithaca is situated in the Ionian Sea and is generally identified with Homer’s Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is the plot of the classical Greek poem the Odyssey.

Details of the swim can be found on the website and a link for donations is:

Chris Payne and Oly Rush (centre) with Green Folk staff and family joining in a beach clean.