Everything begins with an idea. The Birth - Charity Challenge
Posted on Tuesday, March 10 2020 10:59:00 PM in News by Karen Lee
everything begins with an idea....the birth
So I am almost a month from the day that I announced my Swim4ShelterBox plan or the birth. That is not to say that it was a quickly thought out, let's just do it process. This has been 6 months of contemplation, finding the 'right' challenge, and taking the leap to make it official (a bit like a relationship status on Facebook) it's not real until it's on social media, right?? I'll come to the bit about what made me do what I am doing and why for ShelterBox in a moment, but I thought we better start at the beginning.
So just a quick little introduction : my name is Lauren or Lozzer to those that know me. I am a 36-year-old wife to Mark and mother to my lovely 8-year-old son, Mawgan. We live in Cornwall and are that typical annoying outdoor family who thrives in nature and gets out and about as much as we can, especially to the beautiful beaches that surround Cornwall. You will often find us SUP'ing around the creeks, ocean swimming, surfing, snorkeling or running and cycling the coastal paths.
I have always been an ocean enthusiast and have grown up surfing and swimming, I spent 4 years coaching a ladies Surf Life Saving Club and running a Mental Health group that supported people through getting in the water. So my love for the ocean is embedded.
I have always been a keen swimmer and for years have wanted to take on my own personal challenge.
A year ago I started working for ShelterBox, an emergency disaster relief charity. Did you know that 88 million people around the world have been made homeless by natural disaster and conflict. ShelterBox wants to change this and provides emergency shelter and tools to families that have been robbed of their homes by disaster. I work as part of the Training Team and my role includes the recruitment, selection, and training of our response team volunteers who give their time voluntarily to travel to disaster zones and help to rebuild lives. I am also a response team member and hearing and seeing stories from the field is what inspired me to take on my challenge. I got to a point where every time I heard an amazing fundraising story, I thought 'I need to stop talking and take action, I need to do my bit' and so 'Swim4ShelterBox' was born (and I am certain it may be almost as painful as real childbirth)!
so where did the idea come from?
This idea came around a year ago when I saw that someone I know had taken part in a similar challenge at a mass event. I loved the thought of it, the challenge of getting in and out, the challenge of 24 miles, the cold, the fatigue, the 'can my body do this' and so I began to secretly plan, I didn't tell anyone about this until I had almost got it all sorted in my head : on the 10th September 2020, starting at 6 pm at Bude Sea Pool, I will be attempting to swim 1 mile, on the hour, for 24 hours.
Half of those miles will be night swims and all in a sea pool with cold seawater, the tide will also flush into the pool twice during my swim. Each mile will be swum for a different ShelterBox beneficiary (a beneficiary is an individual or family who has received ShelterBox aid) and so I am finding 24 stories that stir my insides to help propel me forward when times get hard. I am also opening up 5 slots per mile for people to donate to come and swim with me (as apparently the psychological aspect of swimming on your own for that length of time, could get a bit tricky...Who would have thought hey?)
Since I announced the challenge I have had so much support, from swimwear companies including Kobe Surf, Selkie Swim Co, Deakin and Blue, Fourth Element and Swim Secure who have all donated costumes for a mile. Some businesses want to sponsor me or help in some way, support from my colleagues at ShelterBox and just strangers I am meeting in the pool.
Some of the common reactions I get :
a). Laugh awkwardly
b). 'So is that 24 miles?' (Well um DUH!)
c). 'You are bonkers'
d). 'But what about food and sleeping?' (All part of the challenge darlings!)
One person even said "That shouldn't be too hard" (Hmmmm, you do it then!)
And so 'Swim4ShelterBox' was out on social media! The idea that turned into a bonkers, cold, saltwater challenge,. A challenge that I am both excited and petrified about. But what is spurring me on, is the outpouring of support I am receiving.
So keep it coming! I am doing this because I believe in ShelterBox, I believe in what it wants to achieve, I believe in what it does, I believe in our amazing fundraisers and volunteers and the time they give, so this is my best way to show my gratitude. So please support me, share, like, donate, it will all contribute to make a difference.
If you would like to support me by joining me on 1 of my mile on the 10th of September at Bude Sea Pool , here is the link to the registration form. You will, of course need to be able to swim a mile comfortably and you will need to pick a slot for the mile you'd like to join on.
Register here : https://forms.gle/29W1m6xfcW2k2fHUA