A CHILDLINE volunteer is taking on an Ironman triathlon to raise vital funds for the children’s counselling service.

Dan O’Keefe will be swimming 2.4 miles, cycling 112 miles and running 26.2 miles at the Ironman Wales event in Tenby on Sunday, September 3.

Mr O'Keefe, from Dinas Powys, has previously completed the London Marathon, as well as ultramarathons and 100-mile bike rides, but he says this will be the toughest challenge yet.

“The real challenge is likely to be the swimming,” he said.

“Having done very little since I completed my 25-metre badge in primary school, the thought of swimming 2.4 miles is quite daunting.

“I have joined a triathlon club in Cardiff and the coaches there have been amazing, helping me to work on my technique.

“I’m still quite slow, so I expect to be somewhere near the back of the field coming out of the swim, and then hopefully I can move up with the run and the bike ride.”

Mr O'Keefe has been volunteering with Childline - the children’s free and confidential counselling service run by the NSPCC - for the past two years, alongside training and a full-time job.

He said: “I’ve been able to see how important the service is to children and young people and the difference it makes.

“We see contacts from young people who often have not got anyone else to speak to and I think that is what keeps me going back week after week.

“I find it very rewarding being there for children and young people when they really do need someone to turn to.

“The demand for the service is really high and we are appealing for volunteers to join us at our two bases in Wales in Cardiff and Prestatyn at the moment.”

The dad-of-two has already raised more than £400 as he bids to reach a £1,000 target for Childline.

As well as Ironman, he has also completed an 18.5 mile Vale of Glamorgan Coastal Race, the Legend Cardiff Triathlon and is doing an 11th consecutive Cardiff Half Marathon in October.

Louise Israel, Childline team manager based in Cardiff, said: “Dan’s challenge which will raise vital funds for Childline is truly inspirational.

“The money raised by people fundraising for Childline helps support our service and ensure that we can continue to be there for all children and young people who need our help.

“We wish Dan the very best on his challenge and we are hugely grateful for his support.”

To support Dan and to donate, visit his page here