Salvation Army officer’s fundraising 'English channel' garden swim
published on 9 Jun 2020
When the coronavirus pandemic started, Harlow Corps in Essex, like other Salvation Army church and community centres across the country, saw an immediate increase in demand for food parcels from those in need in their local community.
As more and more people affected by coronavirus called on The Salvation Army for help, Corps Officer Major Karen Sandford began fundraising in a most unusual way involving a blow-up pool and her rotary line.
Major Karen Sandford said: “I'm a cold-water swimmer usually. Before the lockdown I swam regularly in Redricks Lake. I swim to keep fit and because it helps me manage my mental health. After three weeks in lockdown, I was missing swimming so much that I set up the inflatable paddling pool in my back garden. The pool isn’t very big, so I attach myself by a tether to the washing line which means I’m effectively swimming, but not going anywhere!
“I swim every day, whatever the weather, and my fitness tracker logs the distance. I started off with a target of 10k but as lockdown has gone on, I have increased my original target to 33.796k or 21 miles, which is the equivalent of a swimming the English Channel.
“I took on this challenge to raise funds to support The Salvation Army foodbank in my community of Harlow, for those affected by Covid-19. We have seen an unprecedented number of people coming to The Salvation Army for help since the lockdown began. Some people are shielding which means they can’t get out to do any shopping and others have lost their jobs and are waiting for Universal Credit payments so have no money for food. Our vital work continues and every day more people are turning to our foodbank for help.”
Major Karen continued: “If you are able to support me, your kind donation would give me the motivation to 'Just Keep Swimming' so that even more people can be helped by The Salvation Army. Thank you."