20/08/18 – On Sunday 15th July, our very own Business Manager, Vicki Smith, swam 1.4 miles from Bournemouth to Boscombe pier to raise money for the British Heart Foundation

On 31st Dec 2017 I saw an advert of Facebook for the British Heart Foundation’s Pier to Pier swim in Bournemouth and it brought back fond memories of swimming from Sandown to Shanklin piers as part of a school competition. Then I thought, well, why not give myself a sporty challenge for the year as an excuse to get myself moving more regularly. So, I signed up there and then!!

I also felt that the British Heart Foundation was a very worthy charity to raise money for, particularly as my father had a triple heart bypass surgery early in 2017. He is now fighting fit and walks about 35 miles a week, so I had a lot to thank them for.

Fast forward 7 months and following many, many lengths in the pool, miles walked and some sea water acclimatisation, I was suddenly standing on Bournemouth beach, at the start line, on a baking hot Sunday morning in July.

I didn’t know any of the other swimmers but we all chatted easily, if a little nervously, about our strategy for avoiding being kicked in the face as a thousand other people ran into the sea at the same time as us. We had a pep talk from the organisers, who explained that the event was expected to make in excess of £250,000 in the one day which was all the motivation I needed to wade into the sea and get going.

Once I found my rhythm I just kept going – for 1.4 miles! I didn’t get kicked, I didn’t get eaten by sharks or stung by jellyfish, in fact, I don’t think I saw any fish at all so we must have scared them all off.

I stumbled up the beach on very wobbly legs 1 hour and 4 minutes after I had crossed the startline, only slightly disappointed that I hadn’t got under the 1-hour mark. I bumped into some of the people that I met at the start and we hugged and congratulated each other on a job well done. One t-shirt, one medal and a cup of tea and that was it done.

It wasn’t exactly a record breaker of a swim – the first person crossed the line in under 30 minutes – but I really enjoyed the challenge, raising money for a worthy cause and I especially enjoyed the camaraderie of doing something a bit scary with others who feel the same.

I am thrilled to report that I have raised over £600 so far, with a few more donations still to come. If you would like to add your donation please follow the link below:


Oh and I’ve signed up for next year too – see you there!???!