Jack took on the Aspire Channel Swim in 2021 and raised over £1,000

I first found out about the Aspire Channel Swim just after lockdown last year, when I returned back to my local gym and saw posters displayed about it. I signed up because I’ve always wanted to do something for charity and give something back to people.

I enjoyed the challenge because people sponsoring me and donating gave me the willpower to carry on going.

I did double the challenge and swam to France and back, so I actually swam 44 miles instead of the original 22, so altogether it took me around 10 weeks to complete. It was quite hard because I would do two hours swimming first thing each weekday at 6am, followed by a 10 hour shift, so by the end of the day, I was so tired.

Jack

I’ve signed up again this year because I feel like I can help and support more people with Spinal Cord Injury and because I enjoyed doing it so much last year.

I enjoy swimming because it’s two hours of the day where I can just completely switch off from everyone and everything, focus, clear my mind, and think about things. Every day I go swimming, I try and aim for 100 lengths each time, no matter how long it takes me. My main reasons for swimming are for my health and wellbeing and also to lose weight.

My advice to people taking on the Aspire Channel Swim for the first time would be don’t give up, keep going - every length is one more than you have done before, and every length is one step closer to completing the challenge.

I found the fundraising very straight forward. As I work in Social Media and Digital myself, I knew what I needed to do to get people to sponsor me and donate if they could. I asked people through a few different channels; my family and friends have a number of local businesses in my local area which displayed posters for me in their windows and inside their buildings, along with sponsorship forms. This then led to word of mouth and people would come up to me on the streets.

With the company I work for, they do a matching scheme pound-for-pound, so an email was sent to all colleagues letting them know what I was doing, and this was also mentioned in our weekly Buzz Sessions on Zoom, along with a weekly update.

I use every Social Media channel from Facebook to Twitter, Instagram to Snapchat, LinkedIn to TikTok, so I post updates every evening about where I am at, how far I’ve got to go, how much I have raised, the reason that I am doing this, along with links to sponsor and donate. These often get reshared by other people, which mean even more people see my posts.

I like being a member of the Aspire Channel Swimmers Facebook Group because I love how everyone comes together as one team for moral support and to help one another out, along with hints and top tips.

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