Stephen Gould

English Channel Relay Swim Race 2022

Fundraising for THE LIGHT FUND
raised of £250,000 target
by 489 supporters
Donations cannot currently be made to this page
Participants: Anne Bradford, Mark Kingston, Simon Gresswell, Mark Bezodis, Anna Hewitt, Ian Down, Kevin Langstaff, Katie Price, Terry Lamb, Rhys Fleming, Tasmyn Knight, Jason Goonery, Kate Worlock and Stephen Gould.

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RCN 1145596


Post-Swim Summary by Mark Kingston (aka Sir Gripper)

So we made it!! After 18 months of training and cold water immersion and a last minute 24 hour postponement, 2 teams of 6 swimmers and support crew sailed out of Dover marina at 10.45pm on Weds 28th June.

At 11.21pm from Samphire Hoe beach Stephen Gould for team High Hopes and Ian Down for team Optimist started our epic adventure across the ominous and unpredictable English Channel! - and boy did it throw everything it had at us and more with swell in the ‘separation zone’ being 1.5-2 metres. Many members of both teams succumbed to serious bouts of sea-sickness, but despite this every swimmer stepped up to the challenge and ensured that they swum through - massive shout out here to Anna Hewitt, Anne Bradford, Kevin Langstaff and Katie Price.

With some solid swims coming in from Mark Bezodis, Simon Gresswell and Eion Wallace the stage was set for Rhys Fleming to touch France for Team High Hopes in 14 hrs and 56 mins and for Jason Goonery to land on a beach for Team Optimist in 15 hrs and 24 mins, incredibly both teams were only a few hundred metres apart when hitting France.

Massive thank you to all our support team, in particular Terry Lamb and Tasmyn Knight who supported the teams on the boats through thick and thin. Thank you to Nicola Webster for being a superstar on all things social media and for Jane Garner for our PR and comms.

Thank you to the countless people in the industry who have donated and supported us (sorry there’s too many to name here) - and for the awesome WhatsApp crew - you have no idea how much strength you gave us during those low moments!! - thank you so much for the support and laughter!

For those that believe in serendipity, on the Weds morning, while having breakfast, myself, Simon Gresswell, Anne Bradford and Stephen Gould were discussing the chances of us actually going that night and on succeeding - at that exact moment the very song that was played at my big sisters memorial service (Passenger ‘Let her Go’) started playing in the background and I turned to them and said ‘Don’t worry we’re going and we’ll make it’ - my big sis was our guardian angel looking after her little brother - the lyrics - ‘Only know you've been high when you're feeling low’ seemed very apt at certain points on Weds night and Thurs morning!

We are close to hitting our ambitious target of £250k and there’s still time to donate and help us reach our overall target. 

Post-Swim Summary by Stephen Gould (aka Wee Hof)

What an epic English Channel relay swim "race" we have just had with the Channel Swimming & Pilots Federation (CS&PF) for licensing industry charity The Light Fund and the RNLI. We seem to have inadvertently awoken something within the licensing community that has put it back on a corrective track after the hiatus of Covid. 

We prepared for all eventualities except the one we got. Had the weather forecast been correct we would NOT have left Dover when we did. Each swimmer has done something truly remarkable and on the day when the odds were most definitely stacked against us, we all worked together as a team with unequivocal determination and tenacity. That is why we are all now Channel swimmers and that is why The Light Find enters the official record books of English Channel swimming, not just once, but, twice.......The Light Fund High Hopes and The Light Fund Optimist. 

This was always an aggregate collective effort as a single team unit whether one swam or not. Both Tasmyn Knight and Terry Lamb as reserves on the day were the backbone of what we achieved and must feel no less elevated in status - they complete us. 

As a seasoned open water swimmer of some 35+ years, I am incredibly proud of everyone and feel truly humbled. Only 18 months ago four of the squad could not swim front crawl. What these guys achieved was nothing short of phenomenal. I know that, the pilots know that and the observers know that. Anyone reading this must now know that too. Many considerably more experienced and undoubtedly stronger swimmers would have thrown the towel in. These guys did not and that says a lot about each swimmer as individuals and of course our wonderful licensing industry as a whole. 

The bond we all have now is unique and will never be taken away from us. We dared to do something that others only dream of and in the face of great adversity we triumphed. The industry support for what we have done has been tremendous with an explosion of latent interest in the last 48 hours or so and we should all feel rightly flattered. 

In this regard huge thanks too to Nicola Webster (N.J.Webster Consulting) and Jane Garner (Kilogram Media) for coordinating our Social Media and PR. Indeed, I think Nic was up all night with her very own Channel swim HQ at home. I read all the WhatsApp comments last night for the first time from start to finish and it took me 3 hours! I could not read these on the boat as my glasses went overboard in the swell after my first swim and I was struggling to hold my constitution together anyway whilst also dealing with the early fallen and wounded from seasickness. 

Channel swimming is a tight knit community like licensing. Most will not have realised, but, on our WhatsApp thread were some very accomplished and well-known Channel swimmers who offered group guidance and insight throughout without declaring their prestige. There were many, however, two need a call out here. Jody Jones who is the epitome of tenacity and “never give up can do” attitude and of course Emma France who heads-up Dover Channel Training. Both are Channel “solo” swimmers and both have also done more Channel relays than I care to count. Thank you both for your interest and unwavering support. 

We are still trying to reach our fundraising total of £250K. This is a tall order in these uncertain times and yet we are so very very close. Anything you can offer no matter how seemingly small or insignificant will be greatly appreciated. 


Thanks for taking the time to visit our JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Our JustGiving total also includes corporate sponsorship via our dedicated English Channel relay swim bank account.

No less than 25% of funds raised from this swim will go directly to the RNLI :-

The balance remainder will go to charities such as :-


New Life (Special Care Babies)


Motor Neurone Disease Association

The Brain Tumour Trust


Pancreatic Cancer UK

Alzheimer’s Society


Bowel Cancer UK

Children with Cancer UK

Acorns Children’s Hospice

Francis House Children’s Hospice

The Teenage Cancer Trust

The English Channel

A bulwark against invasion, a conduit for exchange and a challenge to be conquered, the English Channel has always been many things to many people. Today it's the busiest shipping lane in the world and hosts more than 30 million passenger crossings every year. However, this sliver of choppy brine, just 21 miles wide at its narrowest point, represents much more than a conductor of goods and people.

What's the story?

A loose and unguarded comment one lunch-time after the first Covid-19 lockdown led to this challenge now becoming a reality. 

The SOS went out for aspiring open water sea swimmers via Licensing Source in October 2020. That call was swiftly answered by no less than twenty three "like-minded" licensing industry executives which through a combination of injury, personal circumstance and a dawning of reality has now been whittled down to a core thirteen. 

The squad as of now comprises Anne Bradford (Poetic Brands), Mark Kingston (Paramount), Simon Gresswell (SGLP), Mark Bezodis (YMU Group), Anna Hewitt (Spin Master), Stephen Gould (Bear Conran), Ian Down (Keystone Law), Kevin Langstaff (GB Eye), Katie Price (The Roald Dahl Story Company), Jason Goonery (SEGA), Terry Lamb (Corsair), Rhys Fleming (Dependable Solutions),Tasmyn Knight (Hasbro) and Eion Wallace (Jaguar Landrover).

With only six actual swimming places available as a maximum for an officially recognised English Channel relay, we boldly decided from the outset to field two swim teams chosen on swim speed ability, reliability and commitment. As if swimming to France wasn't challenge enough, we were now going to have a two team race across this infamous stretch of water.

We are registered for this challenge with the Channel Swimming & Pilots Federation :-

Our swim will be officially observed and recorded.

Our pilots are Paul Foreman on boat Optimist and Simon Ellis on
boat High Hopes. Our respective team names are perhaps unsurprisingly The Light Fund Optimist and The Light Fund High Hopes.

The English Channel is a unique and demanding swim, considered by many to be the ultimate long distance swimming accolade. It isn't just the distance that is the challenge, but more, the variable conditions that one is likely to encounter. These may vary from mirror like conditions to wind force 6 and wave heights in excess of 2 metres.

The water is cold and all swimmers are strongly advised to acclimatize and habituate to it at least 12 months in advance. This means swimming in open water throughout the year (including Winter) and enduring cold showers where and when possible. There is a very good chance of meeting a range of aquatic life including dolphins, seals, long finned pilot whales, jellyfish and even sharks. There is also the clumping hazard of seaweed and plastic with the occasional rogue tree or plank of wood. It is the busiest shipping lane in the world with 800 tankers passing through and 200 ferries and other vessels going across daily. The latter are also permitted to dump their bilge in the Separation Zone between English and French waters. Lets see who lands that swim leg!

We are the No.1 slot on a Spring tide in the swim window of 30th June to 3rd July 2022, however, we could swim up to 5 days before or after these dates depending upon the weather. We will leave from Dover Marina and are likely to start our swim crossing at 2.00am or 3.00am (depending upon the weather) from either Shakespeare Beach or Samphire Hoe just outside Dover. Swimming in the dark at some point is guaranteed. The plan is to reach land somewhere around Cap Gris Nez between Boulogne and Calais. At that time of year and so early in the Season, the water temperature will be circa.14.0C with colder pockets down to as low as 6.0C. As a guide, the average water temperature of an indoor swimming pool at a leisure centre or the like is 29.0C. La Manche c'est froid! 

The English Channel as the crow flies is 21 miles across at it's
narrowest point, however, with at least three and probably four tidal shifts to contend with we are looking at a swim of circa. 40 miles (and possibly up to the record to date of 65 miles by Jackie Corbel in 28 hours 44 minutes) in an "S"-shaped swim. Initially we will be pulled up towards the Netherlands and then as the tide turns we will be flung back down again towards Spain. It will then be back towards Dutch shores with the next tidal shift before hopefully a final tidal swing which will see us land safely - all being well - somewhere on the French coastline. 

The wind and weather can also be challenging as weather conditions over the Channel can change very quickly and often don't match the
forecasts. Tidal currents on the French coast are brutal and many swimmers within 500 metres of reaching land have failed in their stoical attempt. To add further sobriety if any were needed, 10 swimmers have unfortunately lost their lives trying to swim across this notoriously unpredictable stretch of water.

We will each swim for one hour and repeat in rotational order until we
reach France. Being on a small boat for 5 hours between swims chugging along at a swimmer's pace and remaining in one piece may be more of a challenge than the actual swim. The slower the aggregate swim time, the more painful and precarious the journey on the boat. Thanks goodness for Stugeron and Kwells!

We will follow English Channel swimming rules and wear only one textile swim suit (not extending below the knee), one latex
swim hat and one pair of swimming goggles................there will be no
neoprene in sight! We must not touch the boat nor indeed one another during each one hour swim stint and once we start we must follow the same sequential order of swimmer rotation. Not to do so - in part or in whole for whatever reason including sea sickness  - will mean instant disqualification. Regardless of curve balls, the show MUST go on!

Including relay swims, more people have climbed Mount Everest
than have swum the English Channel - considered the global Holy Grail of open water swims.

The average age of a channel relay swimmer is 34 years and for
us this is 42 years.......and only that low because young Tasmyn Knight has pulled our average age way down. Most of us are north of 45 years of age with both team captains in their late 50s and one swimmer even in his early 60s. Yes indeed - we should all really know better!

Approximately, 7694 swimmers have taken part in 1024 relay swims.
The fastest relay swim crossing is 6 hours 52 minutes by the US National Men's Swim Team in 1990. The average time for an English Channel relay swim crossing is 12 hours and 45 minutes and 11 seconds. With weather and currents no one knows what to expect except cold, nasty stinging jellyfish, Weever fish, floating detritus, sea sickness (both in and out of the water) and ten minutes in France without the need for a passport. 
Most relays of our general make-up and ability take between 16 hours and 20 hours to complete, however, until we physically get into the Channel and assign ourselves to Mother Nature, no one truly knows what lies ahead.....let alone what lies beneath!

Promotional videos to date can be found here :- 

Our sincere thanks and eternal gratitude to media partner Albus Studios (Katie White and James Hollins) who are producing these interstitials for us. Simply amazing!

Partnership with Another Beer

We are thrilled to be working with micro-brewery Another Beer in York. These beers will be available from December 2021 (November isd the first brew of 14,000 cans) and are named in honour of the pilot boats supporting us across the channel – High Hopes (High Hops) and Optimist (Hoptimist).These beers are going on sale with 50% of the profits going straight to The Light Fund. These are bespoke branded artwork 440ml cans featuring two of our squad. Cases of 6, 12 or 24 are available to order online from

Swimmer Bios

Kevin Langstaff (aka Rag n' Bone Man)

In 1991 I was told I would be unlikely to walk again after a life threatening motorbike crash. Since then I’ve taken to pushing the boundaries to keep reminding myself that anything is possible. Walking was a challenge for the first few years but practice made almost perfect. A few years later I trained in karate and am now a black belt. Cycling was next as I had been told years ago this wasn’t possible. I managed a 45 mile ride last year, from Leeds to Hull. So when I started swimming, naturally I wanted to take on the ultimate challenge, so began to train for a channel swim. Swimming in winter at 3.8 degrees in my local lake due to COVID has replaced my 1 mile pool swims as preparation. Neither of which will prepare me for fish, sharks, sewage, dark water, sea sickness, boats or tight trunks. I guess if you can learn to walk again you can swim the channel. 

Stephen Gould (aka Wee Hof)

I learnt to swim at 6 years of age and swam competitively at
a national level until the ripe old age of 21. I then transitioned to open
water swimming – way before it was trendy even though it was already cool… fact ruddy freezing around Ireland’s lakes and coastline. In 2017 I suffered an irreparable 290° glenoid lateral tear in my right shoulder and was told I would never swim again. As cold water immersion eases the inflammation and pain, I embraced ice swimming which in turn has now caused exostosis of the right ear. Undeterred, this led to my first English Channel relay swim in 2019. This will be my third English Channel relay swim, however, not without issues as I have a phobia of deep water as well as aquatic life. Prior to my first “solo” deep water swim I had hypnotherapy and sports psychology sessions to help manage the fear………which still very much exists. Something that is further compounded by the pitch black loneliness and dread of night swimming. Physical stamina aside, this really is a challenge of mind over matter.

Anna Hewitt (aka L'Oreal)

In the madness of 2020 an opportunity to sign up for a challenge that combines a sport I love 🏊️, a challenge I wanted to try before a ‘significant’ birthday 🥳, in a way that enables me to give back to a charity that is supported by the industry I’ve been a part of for over 20 years was presented to me. How lucky am I?  Strangley I
didn’t think twice when it was mentioned to me - WHAT was I thinking?!?!?
🤣 I have always enjoyed swimming whether it was competing when I was a young or swimming in the lakes or sea in Sweden, where we usually spend our holidays, but it’s been a while since I ‘trained’. Now I spend more time on the poolside volunteering with our local swimming club where both my children swim. There was a time when I could swim whilst my daughter trained but Covid has put an end to that!  So now my challenge over the coming months will be to find the time (and energy) to train!  BUT I am excited and am looking forward to the CHALLENGE! 😁

Katie Price (aka Iron Maiden)

I started swimming when I was about 8, joining the local swimming
club and subjecting my parents to hours and hours of watching me plough up and down and driving me all over the county for training and to various galas. I swam competitively into my late teens until I went to university and I realised that I didn’t want to stink of chlorine anymore and that there was a lot of fun to be had out of the water.  I joined the women’s rugby team, drank too much beer and basically had a great old time!  Life has moved on, I have  3 gorgeous girls and am fast approaching my 50th birthday. I love and relish a challenge and swimming the channel has always been something that in the back of my mind I’ve thought I’d love to do and now I have that chance!  The thought of swimming through jelly fish and coming
across other unknown, scary creatures in the dark terrifies me, but I really want to push myself do this and show my girls that anything is possible. Being able to raise money for such great causes at the same time and in my 50th year feels like something I just have to do!    

Simon Gresswell (aka Beaver)

I was taught to swim at a young age. My Dad was a canal and river swimmer in his youth and his team at Plaistow, were National
Water Polo Champions twice in the 50s, so plenty to live up to. I swam and played water polo for school and did some leisurely open water events in the late noughties. After losing a great mate and another great mate's son 5 years ago, I decided to do more things for charity. A few hikes, cycles and marches later, Mr Gould and I were having a coffee and this current adventure was hatched. He’s had me back in Father Thames a good few times now over the last year and I’ve always been more of a sea than a pool man, so I see this Channel Relay Swim as a great team challenge and an opportunity for us all
to feel good and do good.

Mark Bezodis (aka Fella)

My dad always said “that those who can, should” and that’s stuck with me all my life. With his passing earlier in the year these sentiments mean more to me than ever, so when Ann Bradford suggested swimming the Channel for charity ,I thought I can so I should . Having taken part in various endurance and other mad challenges over the years from cycling to Amsterdam for my 40th birthday to completing the three peaks challenge for the Railway Children, this
seemed to be a new and equally extreme opportunity…..I mean what could go wrong??? Maybe I freeze , drown, get stung by a thousand jellyfish, maybe the boat leaves me behind or simply I just sink through lock down timber. Whatever happens, we will find out in 2022! The challenge itself comes in two parts. Firstly, I need to complete a qualifying swim which is an hour and a
half sea swim in water of 16.0C or less, then out for an hour and then back in again for another hour…….so that’s like sitting in your fridge for 2.5 hours. With the qualifier ticked off, I then hopefully get to swim as part of one of two teams where we will take it in turn in a swimmer rotation of six to blatter our way to France. It could take 12 hours, it might even take 24 hours……it just depends on the sea gods. So if this does not seem reason enough to sponsor me I am not sure what is.

Mark Kingston (aka Sir Gripper)

In May 2013 my older sister took her own life having suffered from postnatal psychosis, leaving behind her 2 yr old son and 13 yr
old daughter. Tragically this was history repeating itself as my own mother had suffered the same condition and sadly took her own life when I was 5. As many of us have experienced, the licensing industry is an extended family for lots of us and during the challenging times in 2013 The Light Fund kindly made a donation to a trust fund I had set up to support my nephew and niece as they grew up. In 2013 I made the conscious decision to use both my time and my connections to raise funds to support key charities and provide myself with
challenges that will push myself both mentally and physically. In September of 2013 I completed (just) my first Olympic Triathlon to raise funds for the mental health charity ‘Mind’. Since then I have managed over six triathlons, raising funds for many different charities, and also took part in both the London to Utrecht and Bristol to Dublin cycle challenges for The Light Fund, as well as successfully completing the ‘5 Peaks Challenge’ in Sept 2019 with colleagues on-behalf of raising essential funds for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. A casual comment over a pub lunch with Simon Gresswell, during the brief spell in summer 2020 when we could visit
pubs, finds me now committing to swim the English Channel with other slightly crazy folk from the industry! The furthest I have swum in one go is when competing in the various triathlons (1 mile) so the thought of swimming several miles in the English Channel with the swell, jellyfish and through the world’s busiest shipping lane - in just my Speedos - is quite a daunting prospect! The past year has hit us all in various different ways, however the charity sector and its ability to raise funds has been hit particularly hard and the thought of The Light Fund not having sufficient funds to continue it’s great work and
supporting the wide array of charities and individuals it does provides me and the rest of the team foolish enough to take on this epic challenge all the motivation we need to get across the channel and set foot on French soil.

Rhys Fleming (aka Noodles)

Having spent the last 7 years working in the licensing industry, surrounded by immensely supportive, caring people, I saw The Light Fund English Channel Relay Swim as an ideal opportunity for
me to say “thank you” and give a little back to the community. I am an
ex-club-level swimmer. Despite being a strong swimmer, I’ve not swum in conditions akin to those in the English Channel for the length of time that we’ll each be required to in completing this amazing feat and I am very much looking forward to the challenge. I am very proud to be part of this squad and feel confident that together we can get through anything that the sea will throw at us (including jellyfish, sharks, bad weather, sea sickness and poorly sung sea shanties!)

Terry Lamb (aka Colonel Sanders)

I’m 62 years old and have been the beneficiary of good luck
throughout my life, from being born in the Red half (it’s actually closer to a Red 3 quarters) of Manchester through to the Woman I married, and a career path in manufacturing which took me around the world. I’ve been fortunate to have lived and worked in cities as diverse as New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok, along with stints in Belgium and Germany. 14 years ago, I accepted a three month contract with Corsair Toiletries which brought me into the
Licensing industry. 14 years later I’m still here, and I’ve enjoyed every
minute. I’m yet to meet someone from this industry whose company I don’t enjoy and after all this time I’m still taken aback by the creativity, the imagination and dynamism shown by licensors and licensees alike. Again, I’ve been lucky, in that I’ve always enjoyed good health and have always had a good level of fitness. Until March 2020 (lockdown) I was still playing both open age and veteran’s football, along with running and cycling each week. In October last year I came down with Pneumonia, which has revisited me a couple more
times since, this left me with an Auto Immune infection which is still with me today. From regularly running 10 miles or cycling 60/70 miles on a Saturday morning throughout last year, by November I could barely manage 10 steps. A consultant specialising in Auto Immune infections explained the science of the infection and what it is doing to my body. I have a different theory, in that prior to lockdown when the pubs were still open, I was in pretty good health, coincidence? The consultant also explained the football career was over, I
heard my teammates were so disappointed to hear this news they had a party. The running was also at an end, but there was some good news, it was likely I’d be able to get back to cycling, and I was encouraged to swim as often as possible. One day, I’m contemplating this new life of no football, no running, no pubs! I needed a challenge, Mountain Biking in the Himalayas looked good (but
incredibly expensive) and being a glass half full type, I had put to one side the high altitude and reduced lung capacity brought about by the Pneumonia. Then up pops an email from Stephen Gould, looking for people to join him in swimming the English Channel, or a couple of sections of it at least, to raise money for The Light Fund. So here it is, a great challenge, with people who’s company I know I’m going to enjoy, for a great and super worthy cause.

Ian Down (aka Baby Shark)

I am not new to swimming for Light Fund charities. I first did so in Malta in 2008, having been recruited by Stephen Gould, who I'd met in pursuit of my day job as a brand licensing lawyer settling Happy Meal licences for McDonald's and others. I got the bug and after experimenting with swims around the UK and Ireland, I swam my first English Channel solo in 2010 and second in 2012, as well as my first 3-person Channel-relay. A life-threatening cycling accident in 2014 slowed me down, but I got back to it and swam solo from Catalina to Los Angeles in 2016 and around Manhattan Island in 2017. In combination with the English Channel solo, that meant becoming the 156th person and 14th Brit to complete the Triple Crown of open water swimming. I've had swims since, including the Bonifaccio Straits and have my dreams set for the Tsugaru Straits in Japan. But It's still the Channel which mesmerizes and unnerves me and other swimmers in equal measure - they say it decides when you're done with it, not the other way around. The dramatic nature of the swim and the speed with which conditions change, can drain the confidence from the very best. Success in the Channel is never guaranteed and I can personally attest to that! Had it not been for the Malta Light Fund swim and Stephen's encouragement to be a part of it, I would never
have started my swimming journey. So it was only proper to offer support on hearing he was planning a Light Fund swimming challenge. But a Channel relay? Now that was something I had to be a part of!

Anne Bradford (aka Skittle)

I appear to have a habit of signing up for things that I literally have no experience in! In 2018 I decided I wanted to swim Lake Coniston for the Light Fund which is 5.25 miles from end to end. At that time,
I was only able to complete 20 lengths of a pool. (And I managed to get Stephen Gould signed up after we discussed the challenge in a bar one night!). Then in 2019 I found myself Rowing from London to Paris with no previous experience of rowing (I’ve never liked boats!) but it was a truly incredible experience. Life can throw us situations that we choose to take on and navigate our way through and at other times it can present challenges, injury and illness that we have little control over but I would like to think that I’ve tackled all of these with the same level of tenacity and passion to get to the other side. The channel challenge will certainly be no different. As we set off on this journey
I hope that I can make it to the final 12 to get on board one of the boats, take that leap into the sea and form part of a truly incredible team. And the fact that we get to race each other whilst doing this..…. why wouldn’t anyone want to sign up to that????

Tasmyn Knight (aka Toto)

I have always been involved in charity work in some form whether that be selling my toys at the age of 8 to give to the local hospital or volunteering during my school holidays. I even went to Zambia in
2018 to help build a school out there. So, when I saw this opportunity to get involved with The Light Fund and apply that spirit to a sport I
thoroughly enjoy, I jumped at the chance. It has been a tough year of
not being able to see industry colleagues and friends, whether that
be having a cheeky pint after a long day at BLE or celebrating the winners at the summer treasure hunt, so to be able to team up
with industry colleagues to raise funds for a great cause is
incredible. I’ve always loved to swim (receiving that first Frosties badge still holds dear in my heart …..) however the idea of open water swimming is new to me but something I have always wanted to do and what better way to do it.  If I am honest the biggest fear I have is sinking with miles of sea beneath me or accidentally swimming into an unsuspecting P&O ferry. However, I am a girl who is
always up for the next challenge, so swimming to the other side of the channel was the perfect opportunity. Time to pull out the goose fat!!!

Jason Goonery (aka War Child)

Whilst never a very sporty child I did swim for a club for a few years as a teen and found a love for the tranquillity of the water. It was also my
first taste of really having to push myself physically. Some of those swimming badges I received as a child are still prized possessions! As an adult I found a taste for various endurance challenges as an exciting way to find out more about myself as well as have a bit of adventure alongside like-minded people and the idea of the Channel crossing has always excited me! Having taken part in the row in 2019 I can confidently say The Light Fund events offer a wonderful opportunity to raise money for brilliant causes, test yourself and
get to know industry colleagues in ways you’d never expected! After a year of very little activity other than walking over to the home ‘office’, I am very excited to have the chance to join in such an exciting adventure and to have a focus for the year ahead.

Eion Wallace (aka Skippy)

I was born and brought up in Kuwait for the first 10 years of my life with my father working for BP. Swimming was in my blood having
achieved my first mile when I was 6 years old and 5 miles at 9 years. I sadly lost my Dad at an early age of 12 years which had a huge impact on my life and gave me the determination to never set my limits and always to look for a challenge. After a bitterly bruising Channel relay attempt in July 2020 which was unsuccessful, I swam the Channel with a reformatted relay team in September 2020 in 12hrs 22mins. Thereafter and feeling a bit lost after the Channel, I decided to jump out of a plane at 14,000 ft high on an incredible sky dive over The Palm in Dubai. Now in my mid-60s, I’d be chuffed if you referred to me as a bit of a “silver” adrenalin junky. To add to this challenge, I also had a knee replacement last year. Getting in and out of the water on a folding ladder designed for a pygmy on the back of a moving boat will be interesting. This amazing opportunity has come to fruition only recently when I was unexpectedly called up from the reserve pool. I cannot wait to get back into the Channel and to swim with these amazing teammates for such a wonderful charity. I feel both proud and privileged to be part of this challenge event whilst still searching for my limits further into 2022 and beyond.

Social Media links for the swim are as follows :- 

To learn more about English Channel swimming in general, please see below link :-

To track our swim (on-board both Optimist and High Hopes and
only after we start)

This is a true team challenge based on the aggregate of
exceptional solo effort and incredible new and undoubtedly lasting friendships. The ordinary - including you dear reader - doing something extraordinary for the greater good that in this instance is
our nominated charity is The Light Fund.

The Light Fund is a registered charity, which raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects that help children, women and men. Since its inception, back in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7 million and funded hundreds of different charity projects. The Light Fund’s fundraising activities happen throughout the year. In the Autumn registered charities are invited to submit projects (online via this website) they would like to have funded. In December of each year The Light Fund committee then votes on which of these projects to fund with the successful beneficiaries being informed by the end of the year.

Charities benefitting from our last big fundraising year in 2019 prior to Covid-19 can be reviewed here :-

The Background

The Light Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea to form a committee to help those less fortunate than themselves.

The Light Fund name is an acronym for:

Licensing Industry Giving Help Together

Licensing is a business area concerned with buying and selling of intellectual property (IP) rights. The industry encompasses the licensing of entertainment properties (eg TV shows and films), personalities, sports clubs, bodies and teams, heritage brands, FMCG brands and art and design concepts.

Over the years, through many events, raffles, individual challenges and
generous donations from those in the licensing, greeting card, gift and
preschool industries, The Light Fund has been able to improve the lives of thousands of people all over the world. And so the good work continues…....

Who Runs The Light Fund?

The Light Fund is run collectively by a group of individuals employed in the licensing industry. They give their time to The Light Fund for voluntarily, meaning that all monies raised can go straight to worthwhile charity causes.

The Light Fund committee meets around six times a year to discuss fundraising and charity matters. In addition to the London-based committee, there is also a Northern Light Fund Committee.

About the charity


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The Light Fund is a fund-raising body set up in 2004 by like-minded members of the licensing industry in the UK to raise funds for specific charitable projects aimed at men, women and children. Details of the causes supported and more information on the Light Fund can be found at

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £4,688.75 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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