A Merseyside nurse is preparing to set sail on a remarkable journey across the Atlantic Ocean to support Claire House Children’s Hospice. 

Damian McCafferty will row for a total of 12 hours a day for 44 days – including missing Christmas at home – to raise money for Claire House.  

The 45-old will depart from the shores of the Canary Islands in early December to support children with life-limiting conditions and their families. 

As part of a 12-person crew, he’ll arrive in Antigua 3,000 nautical miles later – his toughest challenge to date. 

Damian, who retrained as a CAMHS nurse after leaving the army, said: “I’ve ran marathons, driven across the Sahara Desert, and climbed mountains to support charities close to my heart.  

“But this will be a tough schedule from the moment we set off from Tenerife and it’ll be mentally and physically challenging.  

“It means living in a small vessel with 11 other rowers, and being unable to see land, so it’s not for everyone! 

“For me, it’s not just about conquering the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also about helping Claire House to make a difference to the lives of children and families who need it most.” 

Working with children and families with complex needs, many who have experienced serious illnesses and trauma, has spurred him on, despite facing his own health challenges.   

Damian, from Crosby, said: “Many of the children and families at Claire House experience heartache through terminal and serious illness or loss.  

“Knowing this, and working alongside people in similar situations, inspired me to help. Despite having suffered with arthritis and chronic pain since my early thirties, I keep going, raising money and awareness through endurance events. I’m committed to the last step – or, in this case, row!” 

As a member of the HM Coastguard Crosby, Damian is no stranger to navigating, sometimes unpredictable, waters.  

However, as well as the immense challenge of completing the journey that spans thousands of miles, he now has the mammoth task of fundraising and finding a sponsor.  

He said: “Taking part in the Roxy Expedition across the Atlantic will test me in every possible way.  

“I left school at 16 and joined the army, so that exposure to physical and mental challenge inspires me to help those suffering through adventure. 

“I need to raise £22,000 to help fund the challenge and support Claire House and I’m looking for a sponsor.” 

Claire House Events Fundraiser Mark Pearson said: “Claire House only exists because of the incredible support that we receive from the local community.  

“By rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, Daman is undertaking an epic challenge, and we really appreciate that he has chosen to support Claire House by doing this. 

“We can’t wait to follow Damian’s row across the waves and wish him well. His support means that local children can continue to get the expert care that they need, either at our hospice or in the local community.” 

Donate at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Dmcoceanrow?utm_term=zpMD5G23a 

To enquire about sponsoring Damian’s challenge, email events@clairehouse.org.uk.