Cast you memory back to before the pandemic took hold in the UK (ah those were the days) and our intrepid Action Language volunteer Hilary Bennison plunged herself into her local pool to take on a 22 mile distance challenge to raise money for Action Foundation.

She got over halfway to completing her mission and hit her fundraising target early, but then Covid restrictions saw swimming pools close and she was gutted not to be able to finish. Well we have fantastic news, and just before the pools close again, Hilary has got the job done and written to us to give us the lowdown…

Well, I finished my 1,408th length of the pool this morning which means I’ve covered 22 miles!

I set out on 1st February 2020 to swim 22 miles (the width of the English Channel) in 12 weeks, in order to raise funds for Action Foundation, at my local pool in Gosforth.

I got to within sight of the French coast with only six more miles to go, when the huge Corona Virus tanker loomed into sight, and the swimming pools closed. I was so disappointed not to have finished the challenge, but had no alternative but to put it on hold.

Eventually, after a six month delay, I was able to get back into the pool at the end of September and have finally completed those remaining miles. The original challenge was to complete the swim in 12 weeks. I ended up completing it in 10 weeks, but with a six month gap in the middle! I wonder if this sets a record for the slowest cross-Channel swim of all time?

I would like to thank all those who have supported me in this challenge, and especially those who have donated so generously. Action Foundation is doing amazing work in increasingly difficult circumstances, having had to adapt its services to meet the new challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Every penny donated will go to help some of the most vulnerable people in our community, so if you haven’t donated previously and would like to contribute, please go to

Join the fundraising fun!

If you want to be a superstar fundraiser like Hilary and take on your own personal challenge, we’d LOVE to hear from you. Just email [email protected]