In a moment of madness I asked my girls to set me a challenge for this year - and they came up (rather too quickly) with swimming the 'Henley Classic'. This is a 2.1km swim upstream in the River Thames on the Henley Regatta course at 5am on Sunday 28th June! So I found myself committed to it, and duly entered - and then decided I needed something to keep me going to the end when I begin to falter. So I'm supporting 2 young volunteers who are giving their time freely this Summer to help others.
First is Anna, my elder daughter, who is the leader of Exeter University's Summer Adventures for 2015. This is a two week residential summer activities camp for young carers in Devon who spend their time caring for members of their families and rarely have a break to do normal fun things that kids do. The University students freely and willingly give up their time to give these amazing kids a whole heap of fun and a break from their caring - but it all comes at a price. The students themselves raise the £25,000 needed to run the camp because they truly believe these amazing kids need a break and some fun.
Secondly I am helping Alice Fletcher, a year 13 student (and family friend) who is raising money for her two weeks of volunteering with Love Africa in Uganda. She will be spending some time with Rehab Drop-in Centre which helps young girls affected by sexual exploitation and prostitution in the slums and on the streets of Kampala, to transform their lives and learn skills that will help them make radical changes to their lives. The second place Alice will be working is Tumaini Children's Home, a place that gives hope, love and education to children orphaned by AIDS.
So I would be extremely grateful to anyone who feels they can donate and keep me going up that regatta course when everyone else is warmly tucked up in bed! But more importantly, please help these two amazing young people achieve what they need as they go well out of their way to help those far less fortunate than themselves. As the saying goes 'every little helps'!