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Aspire Celebrate 100th English Channel Swim Sponsored By Mobility in Motion

The Aspire Llamas from left to right: Robyn Carter, Mark Gledhill, Katy Bradfield, Paul Parrish
The Aspire Llamas from left to right: Robyn Carter, Mark Gledhill, Katy Bradfield, Paul Parrish

Aspire charity who support people with a Spinal Cord Injury, is celebrating its 100th relay swim across the Channel in August. The milestone swim will highlight their extensive contributions to Spinal Cord Injury support in the UK.

One member of Aspire’s original Channel Relay team of 2009, Eleanor Reddington, will be joining Team Llama to swim the 100th channel crossing and mark the occasion. She will be joined by five others who have also previously swam the Channel in an Aspire relay team: Katy Bradfield, Robyn Carter, Marc Gledhill, Alice Stone and Paul Parrish, Aspire’s Director of Fundraising & Marketing.

Swimmers from the first boat in 2009 - Eleanor Reddington and Aspire’s CEO, Brian Carlin
Swimmers from the first boat in 2009 – Eleanor Reddington and Aspire’s CEO, Brian Carlin

Eleanor has continued to support  Aspire and last year swam 70 miles for her 70th birthday raising over £3,000 for Aspire. She is one of the charity’s biggest supporters, raising £20,000 over the last 20 years. 

In the intervening years since 2009, the charity has successfully guided 95 teams across the channel crossings, raising over £3.5 million. Teams of six are encouraged to fundraise before taking on one of the world’s toughest open-water swimming challenges in support of the cause. The Relay Channel Swim remains the most challenging of the many swimming events that Aspire has been organising for over 20 years. 

Driving aids and vehicle adaptation company for people with disabilities, Mobility in Motion, is sponsoring this year’s boat to mark the milestone, saving Aspire £3,500 in costs that will instead go directly to funding the charity’s services and programmes.

Paul Parrish, Director of Fundraising and Marketing for Aspire, said: “Reaching our 100th Channel crossing is a testament to the dedication of our swimmers and supporters. 

“Every single swimmer who has taken part in our swim programme over the last 20 years should be proud of their achievements and of the profound difference they have made to the lives of people with spinal cord injury.

“Each swim represents a step forward in providing critical services and programs that empower individuals to regain independence and lead fulfilling lives.

“The funds raised over the last two decades have done so much for so many and we hope this continues for many more to come. We want to thank the team at Mobility in Motion for supporting our 100th crossing and underwriting the cost of the pilot boat. It will make this crossing not just symbolic but financially practical in helping people with Spinal Cord Injury ”

Matt Fieldhouse, Managing Director at Mobility in Motion, said: “We are delighted to support Aspire’s incredible milestone. Our contribution allows more resources to be directed towards their essential programmes, making a real difference in the lives of those with spinal cord injuries. Being part of this landmark event aids in our mission to enhance mobility and independence for people with disabilities.”

Aspire provides practical support to the 105,000 people living with a Spinal Cord Injury in the UK through its projects and programmes.

The charity offers a temporary accessible Housing Programme to support those living with a Spinal Cord Injury as well as providing wider services that offer advice on Housing, Welfare Benefits and Independent Living, together with an Assistive Technology service to help people, regardless of the level of injury to use computers, laptops or phones, preventing the isolation that can follow after a serious injury.

Eleanor Reddington has set up a JustGiving page to add to the funds that she has already raised for Aspire. A link to this can be found here.