Sue has raised 1,200 through her work and Facebook
I had just started swimming on a weekly basis, 60-70 lengths each time, and my mum had jokingly said that I would be swimming the Channel next. Then I came across the Aspire Channel Swim challenge and decided that it would be a good way to keep me swimming for at least another three months to complete it. The charity element also made it a worthwhile thing to do.
I have been looking at YouTube videos to try to improve my technique and I am certainly stronger for all the swimming. My personal best was to swim 120 lengths in one day. I feel like I have a little spring in my step rather than being a dead weight!
I have never fundraised before and find that it can be challenging at times because you have to keep asking people. It started off well and then it went quiet as it was tough to keep thinking of ways to reach out to people.
I raised some through my work, using the company’s newsletter and sending emails to our head office and management team. I work under the corporate umbrella so I do know quite a few people at work. I have been amazed at the support from my colleagues at work and generosity of the senior management. I also focused on Facebook where I have shared the Aspire link most weeks and posted my progress every time I went swimming. I also asked family, friends and neighbours, all of whom have been very generous and my mum even got some of her friends to sponsor me. I have found that a personal message for each person does get results as the blanket messages just did not work.
For people struggling with fundraising, I say just keep at it and don’t be afraid to keep asking - especially if someone has said yes but has forgotten to make the donation. I found this out looking at the top tips on the Aspire website. Reading the stories about those who benefit from this charity has motivated me to keep asking. A spinal cord injury really could happen to anyone of us at any time.
I have really enjoyed the challenge and I am super proud of the amount that I have managed to raise and that I am a regular swimmer now. I have found early bird sessions at my swimming pool that suit me fine and met lots of other swimmers. I hope that the money raised will go a little way to support those who need it.