Saturday 13th August 2016

Balloon release photoSo…. after getting changed from the swim, it was time to go outside for the balloon release. These were kindly sponsored by DCLT and were to represent one for every mile I had swum over the past year. I am excited to say that we have one balloon found already…. near Grimsby! This might mean that if the wind direction has taken them east, then a lot of them may have ended up in the sea!  However, the tags say that the competition to find them goes on till 31st October so we shall see.

After we had let the balloons go, it was then time to enjoy a Reception in the main room upstairs at the Leisure Centre. It was a lovely opportunity for those invited to chat to the Osmonds, and have photos taken. It was especially nice to recognise those who had offered great support throughout my Challenge, namely Carl Lewis from DCLT who simply could not have done more to support my efforts, for which I am extremely grateful.

A special mention was given to Kayleigh from Tesco Extra and Carolyn from Asda who coordinated the bag packs there. Unfortunately Martine from Morrisons was unable to come at the last minute, but their contribution was also recognised. Then we had Shirl from Thorntons who had donated over 1,000 chocolates for the Hearing Fund Gala, including samples for the Reception. Amazing. My Slimming World Consultant Sue Denton was there, as was the lovely Bobbie Roberts , Head of Trustees from the Deaf School. Special friends who have supported me in a huge way were also included on the guest list.  Finally I could not have missed an opportunity to recognise my lovely husband Paul, and my family, who have each been a tower of strength to me. I really could not have done this without them.

A special thank you to everyone who turned up to make it such an unforgettable occasion.  I am extremely grateful to Merrill, Justin and Kristi Osmond for coming, and for Justin being such a great sport in wanting to swim with me. What an honour! (Thanks to the lovely Tracey for organising their schedule to allow them to be there too!)

The Osmonds came to Armthorpe…. how incredible is that?!  😀

Dreams really can come true.

So what happens next?? As I finished my swim I had a strong impression that this is not the end, but a beginning of something else. Many people have encouraged me to keep writing this Blog once my Challenge ends. I have loved writing. I really do intend to follow it up with a book, because there are lots of things I would have liked to have shared but were unable to for various reasons. For now, the Blog continues. I still need to share the events following the Final Mile day so there is still more to come  ……

 

Thursday 21st July 2016

This is an  unusual entry in that I am handing over today’s post to the lovely Kathy O’Connell, from Shropshire, whom I’ve never met (yet!).  Kathy contacted me last month and asked if she could support my efforts to fundraise.  I sent her a Challenge t-shirt and let her do what she felt she could.  She will know how much money she has been able to raise by next week. Here are Kathy’s comments in her own words:

Kathy O'Connell

Hi everyone, I’m pretty sure I will have met most of you at some stage over the last 45 years!!! Or at least shared a concert venue !!!
I am a bit of a swimmer; should’ve been born a mermaid I reckon! So when the amazing Linda Carlo asked me to swim a mile with her on this incredible fundraising adventure of hers I wanted to help!
In normal life, I am a nurse in a Hospice;  but in my spare time I swim as often as I can. As luck would have it, in our little Shropshire village we have a fab outdoor pool!!! So that’s where I headed to help support The Hearing Fund UK. Why? An inspirational young man I first met at the very first Hearing Fund Gala in 2012, Matthew English. I just cannot imagine how difficult and isolating a hearing impairment must be, yet there he was, playing the violin!!! Amazing!!!! Such dedication to learning a musical instrument despite the huge obstacle of hearing impairment. I’ve followed his progress and that of other kids achieving great things ever since, so I wanted to give a ‘swim with Linda’ a shot!!
I have Type 2 diabetes which can be a challenge; even for an ex diabetes specialist nurse!!! We don’t hold all the answers! ! But swimming is a fab way to drop a dress size or two!! And increase fitness so I had that motivation also!!
Soooo glad I took the challenge. Thanks Matthew for your inspiration,  and if anyone wants to make a donation to Linda incredible total then please please dig deep and let’s see how many more kids can achieve their goals, and how many more projects The Hearing Fund can support to bring music to so many more ears!!!
Thanks for reading and supporting and I will see you around!!!
Kathy

Thanks Kathy!  You are a star and I really do appreciate your offer to swim a mile (or two!). I bet it’s been amazing to swim in an outdoor pool during our heatwave this week!

Wednesday 20th July 2016

I LOVED my swim this morning! Mile No. 242. Just under eight miles to go!!  After such a humid night last night, it was lovely to swim through the cool water at 7.30am this morning.  (Mind you, half of Armthorpe thought it was a good idea too haha.)

A quieter day today making phone calls and sending emails because my car was in for it’s MOT and service and I had to stay at home for once. I got lots done though, but have an even longer Things to Do list for tomorrow.  I must really really go to sleep sooner than last night. 5.5 hours really isn’t long enough, especially when it’s becoming a bit of a habit.

Finally, with thanks for a prompt from my sister because I haven’t mentioned this for a little while, my current total raised for The Hearing Fund UK at this moment in time is ….

total 20 July

It hasn’t been easy to get this far but I have been driven by the thought that these young deaf children will benefit, and that makes it all so worthwhile.  Once this part of the journey ends at 250 miles, I will be excited to follow the progress of individual children who will enjoy new opportunities because of the great work that The Hearing Fund does. It really is exciting to know this money will make a real difference and I am extremely thankful for all those who have contributed in some way.

If you would like to help me reach the £6,000 target as I come towards the end of these unforgettable 12 months, please give what you can on my Just Giving page.  Thank you so much.  https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/linda-carlo

 

Thursday 7th July 2016

Feeling tiredness on a new level today, but it’s my own fault!  I just need to remember to eat properly. Oh and get to bed before 1:00am … ha!  (Too much to do, and not enough hours in the day!)

I had a lovely email from Justin Osmond again this afternoon … hello dear friend! (I have told him he mustn’t miss today’s post because of some special things I’m about to share.)

Armthorpe Parish councilThe day began yesterday with a special swimming session at Armthorpe Leisure Centre, with some members of Armthorpe Parish Council, led by the awesome Carl Hughes. We had the pool to ourselves and oh, it felt great to swim with these lovely local people. Many swam further than they have ever done before and I was so impressed by that. One or two even stayed to do an hour’s aquafit with Sam  afterwards, and I really don’t know how they had the energy!  Well done ladies… and Carl! 😀  The amount raised, with a very kind donation from the Parish Council, and from friends and family of those who took part, plus contributions from the local keep fit group, came to an amazing £206!!!   Incredible!  Thank you SO much for all you did everyone. I hope you can pop down when the Challenge comes to an end on Tues 2nd August.  It was so nice to meet you all. x

Owen McGarry.jpgThis brings me nicely on to another mile swim which took place at the pool yesterday afternoon.  As I had already arranged to look after my five grandchildren for a few hours, I was unable to be there. However, I am thrilled to tell you that a lovely 8 year old Armthorpe boy, by the name of Owen McGarry, swam a complete mile to support my swimming challenge.  What an absolute star!! Not only that, he has raised a fantastic amount of sponsorship ….. £110 !!!  You are awesome Owen and I am working on a special way to say thank you to you personally 🙂 I’m sorry I couldn’t be there to see you yesterday but I will make it up to you. Well done!!

Gail

 

The fundraising really is reaching far beyond my expectations.  I must also mention the lovely Gail who took part in the Slimming World mile swim last Friday.  She handed me £216 worth of sponsorship for her swim tonight!!! Considering she had never swum a mile before, I think this is wonderful!  I am really overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness of people, who simply want to support the deaf children who benefit from The Hearing Fund UK, and also aim for such high personal challenges in trying to swim further than they ever have been able to before.  It is an absolute honour to know you Gail (and to be your swimming teacher too!) 🙂

 

 

Justin Osmond

So Justin, can you see why I needed to you to read this?  Aren’t these people just so inspirational??? 🙂 xx

 

Finally, an update on the fundraising and distance….. so close now. Only 26  days left….

Money raised 7 July  Distance 7 July 16

Monday 13th June 2016

Tesco logoHave you ever said Yes to something and wondered afterwards how on earth you can do it? Haha, that is so me at the moment!  Especially today.  I called the lady who organises the fundraising at Tesco Extra in Balby, Doncaster to ask if I could still do a Bag Pack there for the Hearing Fund.  She remembered me because of my 250 mile Swimming Challenge. Well, after a little discussion about where they could possibly fit me in, I now have two dates …. one of them is THIS FRIDAY!!!  I felt in somewhat of a daze when I put the phone down, thinking how can I find 20+ people to help in such a short time.  However, that familiar calm feeling came over me that helped me to know this was exactly the right thing to have said yes to, and that some how, some way, this will all come together as it is meant to.  I am so very grateful to Kayleigh at Tesco Extra.  The funds raised from this opportunity will make a massive difference to the deaf children and their families.  I am now in the process of  making lots of calls to people I know who might be able to help.  If you read this and feel like you can spare a couple of hours on Friday, please get in touch. My email is lindacarlo@outlook.com  THANK YOU!

Blog visits 13 June

An exciting statistic I discovered today is that Visits to this Blog have just gone over the 3,800 mark!! The Visitor number shows how many different people have looked at these pages.  I am in awe of how many folks around the world would be interested in something that has come from an unknown swimming teacher living in a small village in Doncaster, wanting to swim 250 miles for something she feels passionate about 🙂  Please keep sharing my link though, because the more we raise the profile of the Hearing Fund UK, the better it is for the deaf children who will benefit. I would love to reach the 4,000 Views mark by the end of June if that’s possible, so please feel free to share the link if you would like to help me do this. If anyone knows of any group pages on Facebook who might be interested, please share on there too. Thanks everyone.

Support is coming from all across the world. Today, my lovely friend Carole, who is on holiday in Gran Canaria, got talking to a lady over there who is also on holiday.  When she heard about my swim, she made a really generous donation on my Just Giving page.  How amazing is that?!  It also happened last night at a Church meeting, where a friend handed me £10 from another friend who wanted to help. Over and over again, I am being given donations to the Hearing Fund from people I don’t even know and that really does amaze me and means so much. Thank you to EVERYONE who is supporting these efforts to raise as much money as possible.

It is such an exciting time.  I have just 50 days left before my final mile swim with Justin Osmond at Armthorpe Leisure Centre. Now that I have raised the target to £3,500, it looks like this:

13 June Fundraising total

And my distance completed so far looks like this:

13 June

As the Challenge enters the last few miles (even though 39 miles is still a way to go …. it’s the same distance as Doncaster to Nottingham!), if you would like to make a donation to The Hearing Fund UK, I would be very grateful. Thank you.

https://crowdfunding.justgiving.com/linda-carlo

Tuesday 7th June 2016

Just had the best news everrrrrr!!! Unfortunately I can’t share it yet though! I’m sorry! It’s like I want to share things and I have all the excitement going on at my end, yet I can’t say anything until it’s been confirmed. Sighhhhh !! Seriously, I promise to share it on here as soon as I can. You will be amazed, because I know I am!! 😀

Time to aim higher

 

Two pieces of news I CAN tell you about is that now that we have just passed the fundraising target of £2,500 this past weekend, I have raised it to £3,500.  With only 8 weeks left, I know it would incredible to reach this milestone, but it IS possible! (Anything is possible with the right spirit 😀 )  I have lots of exciting plans to make it happen.

 

Swim a mile poster - phone no deleted

Secondly, I wanted to tell you about the Swim a Mile which is officially about to start.  There are 6 swims which have been organised so far (four of those have specific dates), where either people/groups will come and swim a mile with me at Armthorpe Leisure Centre, or I will be swimming with them at their pool.  Dates, times and places to be confirmed soon.

DCLT’s poster and leaflets going out to the people of Doncaster this week

Here is where you can help:

Would you like to come and swim too? You don’t have to complete a full mile (64 lengths of a 25m pool) to join in.

A Doncaster Culture Leisure Trust (DCLT) approved Sponsor Sheet has been created and all monies will go to the Hearing Fund UK. If you would like to swim a mile with me (or part of ), then you can register your interest by emailing me at lindacarlo@outlook.com.  The cost to take part is £5, which is paid on the day of your swim.  If you would like to get more support for your swim, I will email you a sponsor form. (I am trying to organise a prize for the individual who raises the most!).

Your swim can take place any time between now and the end of July, although any sponsor money must be paid by 31st July please.  Please note that you do not have to swim in Doncaster. It can be at your local pool. This is open to ANYONE who would like to take part, wherever you are! You could do this by yourself, with your family and friends, or local groups you belong to.

So there you have it, I would LOVE it if more people could get involved.  Having others  taking part would make a massive difference to the deaf children and their families who the Hearing Fund help.  Thank you so so much. I look forward to hearing from YOU!  Let’s get swimming!!! 😀 😀

Monday 11th April 2016

Well it was an interesting experience being interviewed for BBC Radio Sheffield today.  I was surprised to be asked so much about the Church I belong to.  I love being a Mormon, and my faith is a very precious and personal thing to me.  I hope what I shared, without being given any time to prepare, came across OK. There is so much more I would have liked to have said about my 250 mile swim challenge and the Hearing Fund, but didn’t get the chance. Ah well… it was a huge learning curve for me.  I still look forward to my time on Sine FM on Wednesday at 10:00am.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03pkp9t This is available for 29 days from today.

* * * * *

DSCF5726As promised I would like to share a few things about a very impressive young boy who is deaf.  Matthew is 10 years old and has been given an opportunity to learn to play a violin with individual music tuition, with support from the Hearing Fund UK. Some of the exciting Projects Matthew has been involved in can be found on the Hearing Fund website.

Matthew

Matthew’s Mum helped me appreciate how little her son can hear by asking me to place one finger right into my right ear.  Then with the left ear, place a finger from my left hand mostly inside.  You should try it and see for yourself.  It makes you realise what a remarkable achievement it is, that Matthew is able to play his violin so well, when he can hear so little.

 

As we spent some time with Matthew on Saturday evening, I couldn’t help but be impressed by his quiet confidence. I asked him if he would like to play a piece which I could share on this Blog, and he was very happy to do so.  He is currently working on his Grade 3 exam and I am quite certain he will pass this with flying colours. I wanted to share the recording of the music he played for us, but unfortunately I have just learned that my free WordPress Blog doesn’t support videos.  I might just have to change that!  In the meantime, please see the link on the Hearing Fund Facebook page.

DSCF5732.JPG

Matthew with his Mum and Justin Osmond

Well done Matthew…. you are a great credit to your family, to the Hearing Fund UK  and to all who support and teach you.  I look forward to watching you increase in confidence and ability. Having seen what you can do,  gives me an even greater sense of purpose to raise money for the Hearing Fund so thank you for sharing your talent with me. x