UPDATE - Read our 2020-21 Impact Report Find out more...

Swim the length of..

“It hasn’t really sunk in. Some people might think it is utter madness but it has been good for me.” 

Annabelle McPherson is a past Venture Trust participant.  With support from Venture Trust and other partner organisations, Annabelle turned her life around. 

Annabelle is a recovering alcoholic and Venture Trust was a large part of her moving to the better place she’s in today.  Keen to show her gratitude for the support she’d received, and having taken up swimming as part of her ongoing abstinence and recovery, Annabelle came up with her own fundraising challenge: to swim the length of the River Tweed – her local river – in her local swimming tool in Duns. 

It was a huge challenge  96 miles in fact – for which Annabelle allowed three months.  Annabelle smashed it in two and a half! She powered through just over 100 lengths each day, five days a week, with a daily record of 180 lengths! 

As she did, Annabelle’s fundraising gained momentum as friends, family and the local community heard about her challenge.  Annabelle’s final fundraising total was over £1,600! 

Here’s how to follow in Annabelle’s strokes 

Plan your challenge: 

  • Think about how long you want to dedicate to your challenge – a month, several months, a year?  How often will you be able to get to the pool? 
  • Choose your route: how about the length of Loch Ness (23 miles), the English Channel (21 miles) or for the serious swimmer perhaps even the coast of Britain (7,723 miles)?  You might even choose to swim a road – the West Coast 500 will provide 516 miles to swim!  
  • Annabelle used an online tracker to log her progress.  This also allowed her share updates throughout to her supporters. 


Start fundraising: 


  • Fundraising using an online platform is easy and allows you to share content to your social media accounts to encourage friends and family to donate. 
  • Set up your own fundraising page here at JustGiving.   Choose ‘start fundraising’ and follow the prompts – you’ll be able to select Venture Trust as your charity partner (scroll down to the ‘Charities’ section where you’ll see our logo). 


Get in touch to let us know your plans and you’ll receive your very own – exclusive! – Venture Trust swimming cap to help you on your way. 

For more help and support contact katriona@venturetrust.org.uk  

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