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Holly Walbridge - My solo swim of the English Channel

6th September 2023

We are always amazed at the incredible challenges our community decide to take on to raise money for Mosaic. Whether they have been involved with the charity personally, their family members or friends have received support, or they have been made aware of our service and are passionate about helping - we are grateful to every single person who chooses to support us.

Holly got in touch earlier in the year to share her story and her hope to swim the English Channel, unaided. Her training consisted of endless early mornings, physically and mentally preparing herself for the cold water, doing everything she could to be ready to tackle the 22 miles across the Channel from England to France. All whilst keeping everything crossed that the weather and tide would make the crossing possible!

We are extremely proud to be able to share Holly's success! She can now officially say that she is has swum the English Channel as a solo swimmer - what an incredible achievement!

Below is an account of Holly's experience, in her own words:

'15 hours of pretty awfulness.

Dark (I started at 12.40am), cold (I had to talk to myself. A lot), 100s and 100s of jellyfish (one down the cossie, some massive smacks in the Separation Zone) and strong tidal currents threatening to pull me off course as I could tantalisingly see the buildings on the French shoreline.

But I am now one of less than 2,000 people to have ever done it in accordance with the Channel Swimming Association rules, and I’m pretty chuffed with that. Especially as I understand only 37% of that number are women.

Lots of people to thank in the making; especially my family, swim-friends, crew and pilot on the day.
I quietly hope that if I am lucky enough to have grandchildren one day, they can say “My Gran swam the Channel you know”.

To keep Holly focused she raised money for Mosaic - Supporting Bereaved Children, and Macmillan:

'The support and care that these charities provide, put my "first-world" swim-problems into perspective. Many of those who are supported by them require incredible mental strength and resilience just to get through their day.

All the money raised will go to these two charities.
Please follow the link to find out more for the two charities, @Macmillan Caring Locally and @Mosaic - Supporting Bereaved Children'

Holly's big swim - England to France, solo. With a bit of luck fundraising on JustGiving

We are incredibly proud of Holly for this incredible achievement and would like to share our heartfelt thanks to her for her time, dedication and passion. The hard work and commitment she gave to this challenge is beyond impressive and we are very grateful to her for choosing to support Mosaic. 

Thank you Holly - you are amazing!