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Scott Baker avatar
Scott Baker

My Big Swim

I'm going to try to swim from England to France... for Dogs For Good because my 'Old' Nan never had the chance...

137 %
£6,856.00
raised of £5,000 target
by 190 supporters
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Dogs For Good

We explore ways that dogs can help people to overcome specific challenges

Charity Registration No. 1092960

Story

Over a hundred years ago, my Great Grandmother (Old Nan as we affectionately called her) trained hard to attempt to swim the English Channel. She was a very keen swimmer and spent much time pool and sea swimming in preparation. The break out of World War 1 stopped her attempt. I have little doubt she would have made it.

My Great Grandmother’s name was Phyllis Florence Harding.

When I was younger (many years ago!), I was a fairly keen swimmer, and my 'Old' Nan used to come to watch me very regularly; up there on the balcony as I went up and down. I always knew she was there watching, but I didn't appreciate it so much at the time (what child does?), and I never thanked her for it. I'm trying to thank her now by making my own attempt at swimming this infamous channel of water in her honour. My attempt is confirmed for late August 2017.

From the age of 12, I didn't swim again until 2013 when I announced my challenge. That's over 25 years. When I first went for a swim in 2013, I was unable to complete 2 lengths of a 25 metre pool, which I found terribly disheartening. I tried to persist though and after embarking into the unknown world of open water swimming, joining the Serpentine Swimming Club, Barnet Copthall Masters Club, and entering many long distance events, I feel I'm now as ready as I can be. I've swum 4 marathon swims so far, swum in many lakes, in the Atlantic, in Dover Harbour, at Durley (near Bournemouth) in Fomentera on a swim camp, and down many rivers...

Some details about swimming the English Channel...

It's cold. About 16c sea temperature which for want of a better phrase is 'quite bitter' and prolonged exposure to such water temperature can cause you huge problems. You don't wear a wetsuit, just a swim hat, goggles, and standard bathers that don't go below the knee. The Channel has lots of jellyfish, currents, ships, barges and general sea traffic. I must cross 2 shipping lanes. It's about 23 miles (depending on currents and tidal changes), and is expected to take about 15-19 hours. A support boat accompany's you and can feed you at regular intervals. You may not touch the boat or anybody on it. The swim must be completely unaided apart from feeding. 

I have called the swim ‘My Big Swim, and those that would like to follow my progress can do so on twitter @mybigswim. Those kind enough to donate to the swim can do so at www.justgiving.com/scottsbigswim ...or by texting SPJB74 £10 to 70070.

I'm fundraising for 'Dogs for Good' and along the way, I’d really like to raise £5,000 for this great charity and hope with help from the charity, maybe a few sponsors along the way, your help, and a lot of hard work this will be possible. If I can, I can fund a puppy from 6 months old to becoming a fully trained assistance dog. If I can raise £5000, I can name the dog, and follow its progress throughout its life.

The charity have earmarked a female yellow labrador, due to arrive at Dogs For Good in September, who, after my Great Grandmother, will be called 'Flo"

I hope you’ll support me, I hope you’ll sponsor me, and I hope I make it. All I know for sure is that with your help and support, I’ll give it all I’ve got. As mid-life crisis’ go, this is a good one…

This challenge will be life-defining for me, but ‘Life-Changing’ for someone else… Let’s together make that happen…For more details on the charity and the excellent work they do, please use the link to the right...

Thank you very much for whatever you can give, I'm really very grateful...

'Flo', this one's for you. 

Scott. X

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