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Andrew Butler

Andrews English Channel,charity swims journey

Total raised so far £0.00

Target £0.00

Total plus Gift Aid: £0.00

Raised offline: £0.00

My story

[p]Thanks for taking time to visit my page any donations will be quickly processed and passed to the charities. [/p][p]June 2017 my son and daughter-in-law gave birth to a beautiful girl Rosie; within a week their world was turned upside down! [/p][p]In brief Rosie was born with a life threatening condition needing specialist treatment at Bristol hospital for Children. Rosie had both kidneys removed within 10 days of being born to keep her alive.[/p][p]Since then she has endured numerous operations and treatments, in and out of intensive care. [/p][p]In a nutshell to witness people whom you love, endure trauma, the initial chaos it causes to their world is never easy. Since being home they have had to adapt to a whole new world of administering dialysis and several other medical procedures ,as well as allowing support networks to be part of their world.[/p][p]I will never forget the fears, the numbness, the shell shocked conversations I had with My Son driving to Bristol considering questions to ask, that no parent would want to consider, let alone have discussions . [/p][p]A family brutally uprooted to Bristol which became their 2nd home ,and the heart wrenching chaos! Rosie's initial 5/6 months were at Bristol children's hospital.[/p][p]Numerous goodbyes leaving them in a lifesaving, alien clinical world so often yearning for their return and a breath of normality for them![/p][p]People who know my Son and daughter in law, will be aware they are incredible parents "2nd to None !" They have become my Heroes. Along with their Son Henry, such a special family![/p][p]This year Luke will be donating one of his Kidneys to Rosie! [/p][p]Witnessing their journey, became a catalyst to support organisations and charities that contributed towards enabling glimpses of stability at this traumatic time. [/p][p]During 2017 I met Neil Brinkworth, an open water swimmer(who since has become a good friend!)he was training for the Channel, following this meeting, I read his moving story of losing a friend, which inspired him towards taking on the challenge of swimming the Channel, raising funds for charities who supported his friend until he left this world.This inspired me to raise my fundraising game![/p][p]Neil had an epic successful E.C Crossing during 2019 in 17hrs and 49 minutes [/p][p]Consequently I booked and have self funded a Channel Solo slot for June 2020. [/p][p]During June 2019 I was fortunate enough to be part of a channel relay team"Testing the water".We were the 1st successful crossing of 2019 season.[/p][p]The channel rules state you cannot wear a wetsuit, only trunks, goggles and a hat,whilst swimming you are not allowed to touch the boat, all food and drinks are passed to you via a pole or on a string. [/p][p]It is well established you swim quicker with a swimming wetsuit, consequently this being a major challenge,in the past I have preferred the benefits of warmth and speed when wearing a wetsuit for open water swimming.Attempting the challenge during June it is very likely the water temp will be well below 15c.[/p][p]Those who know me will be aware I am not from a swimming club background, I swim purely for enjoyment, predominantly in the Sea, Bude Sea Pool, rivers and lakes, my longest swims until I took up this challenge being just over 6 miles/10k and were in a wetsuit, therefore since Nov 2017 I have had a serious journey of hard work and a number of swims preparing me for the E.Channel.[/p][p]I have met some wonderful swim buddies along this swim journey sharing information,advice,their experiences ,I have valued this 2nd to none. [/p][p]During my swim journey , as well as raising funds for charity , I hope to increase awareness of the many psychological and physical benefits of Open Water Swimming . [/p][p][b][u]The charities [/u][/b][/p][p][b]Ronald McDonalds Bristol[/b] http://www.rmhbristol.com/ [/p][p]This was a home from home for the initial 7months of Rosies birth.[/p][p]This is a fantastic resource providing home from home accommodation, free of charge, to the families of critically ill children receiving care at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.I was and continue to be touched by this resource,its an independent charity.[/p][p]Bristol Royal Hospital for Children is the only dedicated specialist children’s hospital in the ‘whole of the South West of England and Wales’ consequently Ronald Mc Donald’s Bristol support families across the entire region from Lands-end to Gloucestershire, and across Wales. [/p][p]Their aim is to keep families together during what is probably one of the most stressful times of their lives. They accommodate over 800 families each year, providing all the comforts you would expect to find in your own home, with spacious en-suite bedrooms, kitchens and communal living areas. [/p][p]During times of crisis and emotional upheaval, the last thing families need is to have to worry about financing accommodation.[/p][p][b]North Devon Care for Kids[/b] http://www.careforkidsnorthdevon.org.uk[/p][p]Support families of sick children, sometimes financially, as well as supporting the development of the children’s ward of the North Devon District Hospital, which covers the demographic area from Bude up to Exmoor and over to Hatherleigh; a very large catchment area.[/p][p][b]Kidney Research UK [/b]is the leading charity dedicated to research into kidney disease in the UK, being committed to developing treatments, patient information and raising vital public awareness to help save lives relying almost wholly on the generous donations of the UK public believing that everybody deserves a life free of kidney disease. [/p][p][b]The North Devon Wave Project[/b] https://www.waveproject.co.uk/location/devon/[/p][p]The work of the Wave Project aims to provide inspiration and motivation, improving the lives of young people who find themselves in difficult circumstances. The Wave Project started in 2010 as a voluntary group funded by the National Health Service in Cornwall. The initial aim was to use volunteers to provide one-to-one surfing lessons for young people with mental health issues as a way of getting them outside, doing physical exercise and feeling more confident about themselves. The first project achieved outstanding results. The evaluation showed that the surfing course had led them to feel more accepted, being positive and comfortable with their lives. [/p][p]Being a mental health professional this is an area that I am passionate about as young people not only need sound role models, they also need opportunities to engage with "meaningful" activities that you and I take for granted.[/p][p]I really appreciate you taking time to read this and your support, I hope you agree that the above charities are all worthy causes and share my passion "thank you for any donations" you can also follow this challenge on Facebook Andrew B’s Charity English Channel Swim June 2020...[/p][p][b][u]JUNE 30TH-2020 UPDATE-[/u][/b]What a week end! I called my pilot, there is a possibility depending on DEFRA that my EC window will open within the next few weeks …hence the last min arrangements for a longer than planned Sunday swim![/p][p]On return we celebrated Rosie’s 3rd Birthday, precious moments 2nd to none! Those who know me will know Rosie’s, Luke, Hannah and Henrys journey! There have been times where a vision of tomorrow let alone a 3rd birthday has been blurred by uncertainty! They remain my heroes.[/p][p]My swim plan isn't a text book plan eg that was brutally overturned months ago by the consequences of COVID 19.France have agreed EC swimmers can land, CSA and CSFP (the EC governing bodies) Pilots have been working hard to ensure boats are able to implement the COVID 19 standards. It all now lies in the hands of DEFRA, allowing EC swims to go ahead, the skill of my Pilot to ensure I’m on the right tide according to my pace and for me to swim until I reach Land 18hrs plus later….[/p][p][b][u]MAY 2020 UPDATE-[/u][i][u] The consequences of lockdown[/u][/i][/b][i] has meant that my E.C swim will either be later in the season OR June 2021. It has also impacted on my E.C Swim training with the RNLI advising not to swim in the sea and all pools closed.One of my mile stones was the guildford swim4life event during which you swim a mile on the hour ,whatever is left you have to rest,refuel before returning to the water for the next hour-its a brutal event.[/i][/p][p]After not swimming for 4 weeks I managed to get a pop up pool and tethering system which enables me to swim on the spot -its hard work as you have no forward propulsion which impacts on your stroke.[/p][p][b][i]May17th I will be swimming tethered for 30mins on the hour for 12 hours a brutal challenge[/i] which In hope will raise the profile of fundraising.[/b][/p][p][b]SOME OF MY SWIMS AND TRAINING[/b]-you may want to grab a cup of tea at this moment :-) (not an exhaustive list).[b] I will update on a monthly basis [/b][/p][p][b]Feb[/b]-Approx 121 days until my channel week slot opens:[/p][p]I am now swimming indoors at least 4 times a week and once a week outdoors, core work, as well as strength and condition sessions.3 sessions are at 630 am with a group (I usually add an extra 2 or 3 km afterwards on the days I dont work).[/p][p] I have had a cold and the demands of wrk have impacted on my training last week.[/p][p][b]However Im back on track and have managed to maintain over 20km a week -Happy days ![/b][/p][p][b]Jan 18th: [/b]I attended PHISH(Parliamentary Ice Hootenay) a great event raising funds for charity Parliamentry Hill lido is a steel lined 61m pool consequently it holds the temp.We entered a relay ,I swam the endurance swim ,the 244m and 122m swims .This year the temp was over 2 degrees warmer at 7c.[/p][p][b]Jan 4th 2020- [/b]A lovely swim Friend Cath Pendleton (currently training for the Ice 7s and due to swim an Ice mile in Antarctica). I also met Ger Kennedy one of only 2 people to have completed the 1ce 7s, and members of the GB ice swimming team.[/p][p]We swam at 3 locations in the brecons:[/p][p]The river Usk a lovely swim against the flow if you stop you go backwards ! The temp was 6.1c. [/p][p]Keepers pond - Just over a Km in 3.9c[/p][p]Punchbowl- A shorter swim at 4.9c[/p][p]This winter I will swim a weekly acclimatising swim and due to run a floodlight nocturnal swim group at bude sea pool for like minded people-this will allow individuals to swim throughout the winter in a safe environment and have shelter for changing.[/p][p][b]I will swim indoors more this winter than I ever have, to ensure I continue to improve my speed and maintain distance and stroke form.From January I will be swimming a m in of 20km a week increasing to 33km a week providing I can stay injury free.[/b][/p][p][b][i]Oct 19th swimming in 23-24c waters however October 20th I was acclimatising swimming at Westward Ho! in 15c it felt a little cooler to say the least![/i][/b][/p][p][b]Sept-Oct 19th :fortunately we were in the greek islands for 3 wks which means warmer waters and sea swimming daily often twice daily approx 20-25km a week- so very blessed ![/b][/p][p][b]My last swim event booked has been cancelled due to the weather gods so its now training all the way! [/b]Improving technique, speed and endurance ...I've a few 6hr training swims planned once the water has dropped to 14c at the end of October. Im also planning another ice mile attempt.[/p][p][b]Sept 14th and 15th-The Dart 10k.[/b] This was the 1st time I had swam this swim without a wetsuit ,also the 1st time I've swam it back to back![/p][p][b]24th August 2019-The Madhatters swim festival:3k,2k,1k[/b] .[b][i] Unfortunately due to an eye injury [/i][/b]resulting in losing my sight I was only able to complete the 3k swim and had to lay off swimming for over 3 weeks![/p][p][b]The latter part of July I learnt a bitter lesson about recovery! [/b] I injured my rotator cuff this put me back for a few weeks preventing me from attempting a local 15 mile swim I had planned -It will now have to wait until after my EC Solo! .....[/p][p][b]July 6th-14th 2019- Cork Distance Week-This was an incredible 9 days![/b] Swimming twice a day on most days, It was a case of swim, stretch,refuel,rest and repeat! I did miss one swim due to listening to my body however I was pleased with my result I swam a total of 49 miles over 9 days.[/p][p][b]June 11th 2019-English channel relay[/b] Our team of 4 "Testing the water" was the 1st successful crossing for the 2019 E.Channel season.[/p][p][b]2nd June 2019- Varne Ridge Channel Swim Camp[/b]-This was a 5 day camp which involved daily 3 hrs swims and a 6hr qualifying swim.[/p][p][b]2019 Guildford swim4life 24rs 24 miles[/b]:I settled for 12 miles deciding not to risk injury to my hip (I have a hip replacement and have arthritis) and right shoulder. This is a brutal but enjoyable event, you have to get out of the water every mile and return on the hour to start another mile! I've Unfinished business for the next time (2020 they hold the 12hr event, in 2021 they repeat the 24hr event).[/p][p][b]January 2019-Official Ice Mile (IISA)[/b]-This involved swimming for 51 minutes in a lake at 4.6c[/p][p][b]Bude Sea Pool relay October 2018[/b] -11miles skins[/p][p][b]Exmoor open water Lake 4k swim[/b] – [/p][p]· 2018 –Skins[/p][p]· 2017 (wetsuit)[/p][p][b]2018 Swim Buddies-Westward Ho! to Clovelly -8miles[/b][/p][p][b]Dart 10km[/b][/p][p]· 2017 (wetsuit assisted)[/p][p]· 2016 Dartmouth (wetsuit assisted)[/p][p]· 2015 Dartmouth (wetsuit assisted)[/p][p][b]The Big welsh swim 9k Snowdonia[/b]- Lyn Padarn, Llanberis - A beautiful part of the world, this is a must for those wanting to absorb the tranquillity of swimming beneath Snowdonia.[/p][p]· 2018 Skins[/p][p]· 2017 Wetsuit assisted[/p][p][b]The Bantham Swoosh 6k[/b]- a chilled river swim with a tidal swoosh at the end [/p][p]· 2016 Wetsuit assisted[/p][p][b]Madhatters events (these are brilliant sea swim events 2nd to none)[/b][/p][p]2018 Madhatters swim festival 1, 2, and 3k Skins[/p][p]2017 Madhatters swim festival 1,2, and 3k (wetsuit)[/p][p]2016 Madhatters swim series- wetsuit ( a series of swims from 2k to 3.8k)[/p][p][b]The polar bear challenge 2017 and 2018 [/b][/p][p]This involves swimming throughout the winter without a wetsuit.[/p]
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Jul 12, 2020


A very tough challenge, well done for taking it on.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020

Brinky's Mum & Trevor

Good luck Andrew, we'll be following your journey.

£50.00 plus £12.50 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020


Jul 12, 2020


What an amazing thing you are doing. Our son is two and has bladder and kidney disease and I saw this post via Kidney Research on Facebook. Wishing you and your family all the best for the future.

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020

Anthony Rooney

All the best today Andrew. Hope it’s a success and I Hope Rosie is thriving after her TX. Having had one myself I bets she’s never felt better. Good luck

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020

Nugent family

I hope there will be calm waters for your swim and you have the strength to endure. Both you and your little granddaughter are an inspiration. God Bless

£10.48 plus £2.62 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020


Best of luck, Andrew

£15.00 plus £3.75 Gift Aid

Jul 12, 2020


£20.00 plus £5.00 Gift Aid

Jul 11, 2020

Lisa Little C

Good luck Big C. Very proud of you. Stay safe xxxx

£35.00 plus £8.75 Gift Aid

Jul 11, 2020

Lots of love from Kayleigh matt marcey izzy x

U ve got this dad gd luck ! Girls wish u all the luck 2 xxx