Sue is swimming to get stronger and fitter following a hip replacement
Sue raised over £1,000 in 2016, £774 in 2017 and has so far raised over £1,300 this year
I took on the Aspire Channel Swim in 2016 and 2017 then decided to do it again in 2019 because I wanted to get stronger and fitter following a hip replacement in February and sciatica over the summer. I also wanted to raise more money for Aspire.
I enjoy swimming because I find it much easier to move in water than on land due to my congenital hip problems and back problems, which mean I had a bad limp and progressive arthritis. When I was a toddler my parents had the option of sending me to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH) in Stanmore or the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre (NOC) in Oxford for treatment. They chose the NOC because it was easier to get to Oxford than London.
More recently, I got to know the chaplain at RNOH and I covered for her when she was on holiday, so I have visited the hospital and seen some of their amazing work. That connection to Aspire really appealed to me.
My history of chronic pain and multiple operations has given me a particular affinity for anyone struggling with pain and disability so Aspire seemed the obvious charity for me to raise money for
My original aim in September was to swim the width of the English Channel three times (66 miles) but by the end of twelve weeks I had swum 80 miles and I am still swimming nearly a mile a day! My front crawl has improved and I have got faster.
I have raised over £1,300 although I hate asking for money. I fundraise by asking gently then enlisting my friends, colleagues and family to ask on my behalf. I also think my public profile as an Archdeacon in the Church of England helps! I ask mostly by email, although I joined Facebook this year and updated it daily about my swim.
I have now swum 80 miles in 12 weeks to raise money for people with spinal injuries. But it is not too late to sponsor me: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sue-groom2