Friday 12th August 2016

So…. the 250th mile was complete. Everyone was going a little wild at this point, including the swimmers who had come for a public session who were using the other side of the pool, and had stopped to join in the cheering.  As I climbed out of the pool, someone threw my towel around me because the Calendar news reporter stepped forward at the top of the steps to get my initial reaction! (Added note: my 9 year old grandson Elijah apparently had been looking after my towel, and made sure he gave it to me at the right time 🙂  Thank you Elijah xx) I can’t say I was particularly out of breath but it did make me think later about how these athletes must feel  after winning a medal and they are gasping for air but trying to talk normally for the camera haha.  I wasn’t gasping but it did make me smile.  🙂 Here is the ITV Calendar news link:

It seems that whilst I was swimming, Merrill was also interviewed by BBC Radio Sheffield. The reporter did a live link with me straight after Calendar had finished but I haven’t heard that report yet.

Finally Doncaster Free Press were also there.  I need to buy this week’s newspaper, but I was told about their Facebook page which showed this:

Doncaster Free Press 11 August

The link for this article is at but as several people have pointed out, the fundraising total is very much out of date. Owen and Justin

After my swim, I was told about something which happened that I hadn’t been aware of, but there is a lovely moment captured on camera. Justin had presumed that towels are provided at the Leisure Centre but when he realised they aren’t, word got round that he needed something to get dried with after his swim. You may remember young 8 year old Owen McGarry who swam a mile to raise money for The Hearing Fund UK recently. Well Owen had come prepared to swim if there had been an opportunity to. Instead he offered to let Justin borrow his towel, and this picture shows Owen kneeling down at the poolside to let Justin give him a hug to say thank you.  How special is that?!


With Owen and Grace



Here is another picture of Owen, along with 8 year old Grace, who also swam a mile with me recently:





And finally one of my favourite photos which I now use as my Facebook profile picture. I need a bit of practise with the ‘I love you’ sign though … mine was back to front haha

With Merrill and Justin

Tomorrow’s page will be about the balloon release, and what happened next. To be continued …


Thursday 14th July 2016

Jill Lowe.JPGWhat a memorable day! It will certainly be a day that the lovely Jill Lowe will never forget.  I have been teaching Jill to swim for about 4 years, and tonight she achieved something she often wondered if she would ever be able to do… she swam her first ever 25 metres!! She raised over £70 for The Hearing Fund UK as well and I am so so proud of her.  There are several times she could have given up because she felt her progress was slow.  However, I have the utmost admiration for her – she is a great example to us all when it comes to never giving up.  I know she was elated to complete her length tonight, and many felt her joy, especially me.  She got the biggest cheer I have ever heard in any of my classes.  Everyone was supporting and encouraging her all of the way.  What a great night!!  Well done Jill!  Fantastic achievement!

IFree press logo came home from my classes to find a few Facebook friends had posted the newspaper article published online on the Doncaster Free Press page.  I have no idea how they found it, because even with a search for the link, I couldn’t see it.  Ah well, thanks to those who shared it.  It can be found at

Had a really busy day making contact with the Leisure Centres around the Borough. Posters, leaflets and collection cans have gone out to over half of the places on my list.  Everyone is so helpful!  I am encouraging everyone to come and swim a mile with me on Saturday 23rd July at 5pm.  If you would like more information, please email me at  It would be great to see you.

I mentioned fundraiser Nathan yesterday… his total so far has gone up to an amazing £180!!!  Apparently he came for a swim tonight whilst I had the adult lessons at the pool, but it seems I was a little busy teaching for him to feel he could come and say hello.  I haven’t met him yet, but I look forward to being able to do that soon.  He swam his first mile tonight, so again, some massive personal challenges being achieved. Brilliant stuff!Deaf school logo

Bobby Roberts




I also spoke to the wonderful Bobby Roberts at the Doncaster Deaf Trust today.  I am so impressed by this lady and her ability to make such a difference for good.  Interestingly my sister pointed out that
on the Free Press page there is an article about her as well.   It’s great to read about the funding they have received to improve their sports facilities.Do click on the link to the Deaf Trust website which is shown at the end of the article. It’s also wonderful to see some of the amazing work that goes on within the school for the deaf students.

Tomorrow is a new day where I have lots of things planned. I am teaching a lady her first one to one swimming lesson in the morning, followed by tomorrow’s mile swim. I also have a cake order for a very special young man… I will mention him in tomorrow’s post. Then tomorrow night is date night where Paul and I are off to the cinema.  We don’t go very often but we enjoy it when we do.   I just hope I don’t fall asleep half way through… haha.

Finally, today’s countdown:

14 July countdown



Sunday 5th June 2016

Morrisons logo With the help of Paul yesterday, and my daughter Michelle and Josh, and Julia on Friday, we raised an incredible £482!!! This brings me so close to my target of £2,500 I can almost touch it!  With just £62 left to get there, I am now considering what to raise the new target to 🙂 🙂   To the people of Armthorpe, THANK YOU!  The staff at the store were a credit to the company, and I met some really kind and lovely people.  I also met some real characters 😉  I would love to repeat what one grumpy old man said to me, but just in case he reads this (very unlikely, I know!), I won’t repeat it to protect his identity hahaha.  Seriously though, it was so nice to get out into the local community, and because my swim is taking place at Armthorpe, there was some genuine interest in my Challenge.

The Bag Pack at the Morrisons superstore at Balby is happening on Friday 24th June, and I will need a significant number of helpers on that day to make it as successful as I would like it to be. Would anyone be interested in coming along to support this please? If so, please email me at Thank you so much.

Free Press June 2016One of the Morrisons customers pointed out she had seen me in this week’s Doncaster Free Press on Thursday, which I hadn’t known about.  I am still looking for the online version of this but I did buy the newspaper.The article mentions having people taking part in my swim this week, but actually this has been delayed slightly. Rather than it take place over a specific week, it is more likely to be happening on certain dates between now and the end of July.  I will be writing a special page about this tomorrow, and how folks can take part if they would like to.

Thursday 2nd June 2016

Another exciting lead to the fundraising has come along today.  I had a meeting with Carl Hughes who is the Armthorpe Parish Council Sports and Recreation Officer. He is excited to support my Swimming Challenge by asking several people who he works with, and some local school children, to come along and swim a mile with me at Armthorpe Leisure Centre for The Hearing Fund.  The date is Wednesday 6th July and it is in the diary 🙂 I am thrilled about this initial response from the local community, and plan to visit local shops and businesses in the village, with the posters which are about to be printed, to drum up even more support.  Doncaster Free Press will be contacted to cover the story.  Thank you Carl! This will make a significant difference to the total amount raised and is greatly appreciated.

Armthorpe community centre

Armthorpe Community Centre

At the pool today I had three swims!! I think that’s a record for me 🙂 I completed 180 lengths which is over 2.5 miles.  The reason for doing so much is that I will need to take tomorrow and Saturday off to do the first two bag packs at Morrison’s Armthorpe.  It’s a small store but does get busy and I won’t have time to stop and swim.  Sometimes you have to choose between swimming more miles, or getting out there to raise more money for the miles you are swimming 😀 😀

Another reason that today was great was that I am officially back working as an adult swimming instructor again. I felt like I had never been away … it was a great feeling! It’s just on a Thursday evening which is enough for me just now.  It was good to be back as a teacher, rather than just a swimmer.

Finally, I had a Blog visit from someone is Estonia today! Hello Estonia!! If anyone knows someone from an unusual country, please invite them to view. I’ll post how many more countries have been added to the visit list soon. I continue to be in awe of how small the world becomes through social media. If my Mum had still been alive, she would have LOVED this!!


Wednesday 23rd March 2016

What an interesting couple of days.  After a much needed rest at the weekend, I am back on form.  Since Monday I have swam three times, all at 2000m each time, so my current total swim as of today is 154 miles.This means I just passed Swarland and Newton on the Moor, Northumberland; places close to where my sister lives!

Rebecca Adlington

Rebecca Adlington who  appeared at YWP yesterday

The publicity for my challenge is picking up a gear, although I was kicking myself yesterday.  My daughter Michelle sent me a Doncaster Free Press link which showed how the famous Olympic swimmer Rebecca Adlington had been to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park that morning to open a new giant otter reserve!  This is less than a mile from where I live! On a quiet day, if the wind is blowing in the right direction, we can hear the lions roar at feeding time!!

If only I had known she was there.  Do you think this has detered me though? Nope! I have been in touch with YWP and they have emailed her agent! I would LOVE Rebecca to endorse my swim challenge, and perhaps she might like to come and Swim a Mile 🙂  If you don’t ask (nicely), you don’t get!  We shall see….

Sine FMAlso I have an interview lined up for Sine FM. Details to be confirmed.  Andddd…. Doncaster Rovers FC have been approached for support on my behalf! Really exciting times.

Monday 7th March 2016

After a long and very useful chat to our Church Public Affairs Director, Jeremy Kay, many exciting opportunities are now in the pipeline! The more I  speak to people about my challenge, the more doors are opening to make exciting things possible.  It makes me smile and feel good when others understand how important this is to me, and want to help in some way.

I only managed 56 lengths of the pool today (instead of the usual 64+) Was it because I was tired?? Oh no no no! It was because folks wanted to tell me they had seen my story in this week’s Doncaster Free Press and wanted to know how they could they find out more!  They had noticed me for a long time, but now that I’m wearing my cap, they wanted to help by making a donation!  I even gave a few swimming improvement tips to several ladies, and they wanted to try swimming with my Speedo gloves on to see if it made them any faster!  I was Speedo gloveshappy to oblige, but it did make me laugh when I thought I could perhaps hire my gloves out and add it to my fundraising total 😀   Still, to the lovely ladies at Armthorpe lunch time swim today, if you managed to get my card from Reception when you left, welcome to my Blog 🙂  I know a few of you are thinking about buying your own gloves.

Here is the link:

They are a bit more expensive than I thought at £12.32 for medium, but if you swim a lot, I think it’s a worthwhile purchase.

Aqua gloves


I explained which areas of the body the gloves work on, and I found this diagram on the Speedo website.






Something else that made me smile today is a question I was asked by Jeremy, about where I would be now if I had swam South, rather than North. Look at this!

Auckley to the South map


I am almost at 143 miles today because of the extra lengths I did on Saturday, which I have carried over into this week’s total.  If I was travelling South, I would be Welham Green, North London by now!!  I tried to see if my 250 mile total distance would get me to Brighton on the south coast, but it’s further than that. I would run out of land and end up in the Channel haha 😀 How funny is that?! 😀



Friday 4th March 2016

Swim capA couple of new highlights today. I received my new swimming cap and was quite excited about wearing that for the first time.  However, in my excitement, I packed my swimming kit ready for my lunch time swim, only to have that awful thought come over me as I’m pulling into the Leisure Centre car park, about whether I had actually put my swimming costume into my bag.  Having a new swimming cap is great, but if you haven’t got anything to wear with it, it’s not so good! haha  Fortunately I live about a 12 minute drive from the Pool, so off I went back home to get my missing piece of kit.

This reminds me of a story of when I was about 9 years old.  We were very fortunate to have a swimming pool at Barley Mow  Junior School in Birtley. The sad thing is I was so terrified of water as a child, I hated my swimming lessons with a passion, and so I did not see anything fortunate about having the pool nearby at all!!  I remember coming up with a variety of excuses why I couldn’t swim each week.  At one particular lesson, I remember realising in the changing room, that I hadn’t packed my swimming costume…. I had managed to pick up my brother’s trunks which were the same colour. At first I was relieved, because yet again, I had a reason for not being able to swim that week. Imagine my horror when the swimming teacher insisted I wear my brother’s trunks for the lesson!!! I was mortified!  You would think it would have scarred me for life haha  It’s a little ironic that I went on to become a swimming teacher myself, but I vowed I’d always treat my children with much greater respect than I had been shown on that occasion.

Doncaster Free Press 3 March

Our weekly Doncaster Free Press – published 3rd March ’16

Another article was published in the weekly Doncaster Free Press yesterday, which I only learned about today.  It appears to be exactly the same one that was in the Doncaster Star last week, but that’s OK 🙂  The Free Press captures a larger audience. It says my mileage is at 125 miles, where actually, after tomorrow morning’s swim I will be at 141 miles. It wasn’t an easy mile to swim today, because I lost valuable water time needing to go back home, but I was able to swim faster than usual and completed the mile just in time.