Solo swim raises £2,000 for three different charities

Deborah Herridge during her swim across the Solent
Deborah Herridge during her swim across the Solent

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A dedicated fundraiser has made a splash by swimming 14 miles across the Solent and back again to raise more than £2,000 for three charities.

Deborah Herridge, from Lee-on-the-Solent, has done the challenge one way, but wanted to push herself into doing the return journey this time around.

It took the 46-year-old seven hours and 18 minutes to swim from Hill Head Sailing Club, in Fareham, to Ryde and back again.

She followed Channel Swimming Association Rules and wore only a swimming costume, hat and goggles which offered no thermal protection or buoyancy while completing the feat.

Deborah has raised more than £1,000 for the Oakley Waterman Caravan Foundation, which was started by ex Pompey player Dave Waterman.

She has also supported Cancer Research UK and West Sussex-based Canine Partners, where she previously volunteered as a puppy parent.

The charity is dedicated to transforming the lives of people with physical disabilities by training dogs to help with everyday tasks.

‘I support Canine Partners because I see how it can change people’s lives for the better,’ she said.

‘I swim to help others, and when it gets painful, which it did, I think of people who are worse off than myself.

‘This gives me the courage to go on, knowing that what I am doing may go to help them in some way.’

Like most charities, the three Deborah’s swim was collecting for, rely heavily on donations, and the funds she has raised will go a long way to supporting each individual charity.

She said this is the hardest challenge she has done to date, but the rewards speak for themselves.

‘There were points when I nearly gave up several times when the waves were so big I couldn’t see any land, only my safety boat.

‘But knowing I was doing it for a good cause pushed me on.’

Deborah is still raising funds, visit justgiving.com/Deborah-Herridge and virginmoneygiving.com/DeborahHerridge.