Debbie Treadway, Tina Briden, Sue Treadway and Valerie McAleer
Lockdown inspired more people than ever to experience the thrill of open water swimming and former GB swimmer Tina Briden is hoping people will get their wetsuits on again to raise £11,500 for Saint Francis Hospice.
Tina, along with her son Alfie and daughter Lucy, are inviting people to sign up for the fundraising challenge on Saturday, 18th June at Trifarm in Chelmsford where they can choose to swim distances of 400m, 800m or 1600m around the lake.
Last year’s event was an incredible success and Tina is hoping it will become an annual swim in memory of her parents Maisie and Stan Burke.
“We had such an amazing day last year and all the support we received from family and friends was wonderful,” said Tina.
“There are so many benefits to open water swimming and this is the perfect opportunity for people to try it if they haven’t done so before.”
Tina’s cousin Johnnie Saava had so much fun taking part for the first time last year, he and his mum Julie are already in training for this year’s event.
“After taking part in the Saint Francis Hospice charity swim last year, I instantly caught the open water swimming bug,” said Johnnie.
“My mum has always enjoyed her swimming and when she came along to support us during the charity swim, she felt inspired to give it a try.
“We’ve now purchased our own wetsuits and have been visiting Trifarm whenever we are free at the weekends so we are ready for the next Saint Francis Hospice swim.”
Tina also has a personal connection with Saint Francis Hospice as its Hospice at Home team cared for Maisie before she died in 2018.
“When the Hospice at Home nurses arrived to care for mum, it was like an angel had descended,” said Tina.
“They were so calm, they offered us respite in our home so we could rest.
“Their presence made us feel secure and the comfort that we were doing the right thing to look after her properly.”
All swimmers will receive a special medal to celebrate their achievement!
A very special thank you to Tri-N-Swim Well for donating wetsuits so they can be hired to raise even more funds for the hospice.