Channel Swim Challenge for WaterHarvest

Total raised

from a target of £10,000.00

Total raised (+ Gift Aid)


Offline total


Mark Critchlow has just undertaken his second swim across the English Channel as part of a four person relay. He is raising money to support WaterHarvest, which is one of St Michael's three chosen charities for this year.

Mark started start his swim at midnight on Saturday 14 September, finishing mid-afternoon on Sunday. More details to follow.

His target is to support up to 20 families in the Thar desert region of Rajasthan, by enabling them to build 'taankas' to provide a sustainable supply of clean drinking water.* 

A 'taanka' is a device for harvesting the monsoon rains and storing the water safely underground during the rest of the year when there is little or no rain. As well as providing essential clean water, the taankas will free up the women and girls of the families who often spend many hours a day carrying water over long distances (from open water sources which are often dirty and badly polluted). Above all, it will enable the girls to get back to attending school.

For those who don't know Mark, he was born in Hammersmith in 1960 and now lives in Chiswick. He is married with one daughter. Born blind in one eye, Mark began losing sight in the other eye during his 30s. He was registered Visually Impaired in Dec 2011 and his guide dog Seiko arrived in July 2012. He once enjoyed running, representing England and achieved his best marathon time of 2 hours 25 at the age of 42, but was unable to continue his running career. After 8 years of adjusting to his new life and chronic pain, he found swimming. After a first sponsored swim of a mile in 2013 for Guide Dogs, he hasn't stopped since and swam in a 4-person English Channel relay in 2017. He brings his experience to the Paramedics and Police team of 'Blue Light Bathers'.

Swimming the English Channel remains one of THE great challenges. The shortest distance is 21 miles from Dover but the current moves you many miles from side to side as the tide ebbs and flows. In 2017, Mark undertook his first crossing of the Engish Channel, also as part of a team of four, covering a distance of 36.4 miles in 13 hours 31 minutes. As well as the sheer stamina required, there are many hazards such as the cold, the jellyfish and the fact that this is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world!

Mark has taken on a challenge which most of us wouldn't contemplate in our wildest dreams, let alone if we were visually impaired. Our challenge is to support him in what he is doing to raise funds for WaterHarvest. Please be as generous as you can.

If you would like to know more about the wonderful work done by WaterHarvest, visit their website, or for a real on-the-ground insight into their work, have a look at the fascinating video on this page.

*For each 'taanka', 70% of the costs (£500) are provided by WaterHarvest and the community or family is expected to cover the remaining 30%, often by providing labour or stone. 

Select the amount you wish to give

£10.00  Give £10

£20.00  Give £20

£50.00  Give £50

£100.00  Give £100

Total donations: £2,330.00

David B


£200.00 (+ £50.00 giftaid)

Good stuff, Mark. Well done!

M and c


£30.00 (+ £7.50 giftaid)

Well done



£50.00 (+ £12.50 giftaid)

Meredydd and Charlotte


£20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)


Ros Lister


£20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)

Well done Mark! a fantastic achievement and for a great charity

Mark and Julia Walport


£50.00 (+ £12.50 giftaid)

Congratulations on an amazing achievement. Best wishes, Julia and Mark



£20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)

Well done Mark - what another amazing achievement - you are an inspiration ! Love from Sophie

Anna Lightfoot



Torin and Carol


£30.00 (+ £7.50 giftaid)

Congratulations Mark - a great achievement in a very good cause!

Kate Vick


£20.00 (+ £5.00 giftaid)

Fantastic job Mark!