Other ways to sponsor us
Phone: 0117 944 1000 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)
Send a cheque (payable to Viva!): Viva! Swim, 8 York Court, Wilder St, Bristol BS2 8QH.
Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/vivaswim
Help collect sponsors: Download sponsorship form
* If you are able to give gift aid, your donation will go to Viva!'s sister charity, The Vegetarian & Vegan Foundation. I am a UK taxpayer and I wish VVF to reclaim tax on all donations I have made from 6th April 2000 and all future donations I make hereafter.
Total: £4,754 raised*
See other online sponsors
Top donations so far:
Mum I hope you do well and live to tell the story. And swim as far as you can. Love The Jazz xxx
Donation by Jazz
Good luck to all. A&E on standby! Jules you’re mad but brave! Love mum
Donation by Jenny Carter
Donation by Louise Newman
well done...looking good!
Donation by jonathan stewardson
I'm donating my 'birthday money' - £1 for each year I have survived on this planet (I wish it was only £31 - LOL). So, Juliet, Andy and team, good luck - I have every confidence you will succeed.
Donation by John Carter
Donation by Beata Gajek on 01/03/12
Good luck mum. Hope you don't freeze to death. Anyway good luck. Love from your awesomest son in the world. Finn xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Donation by Finn on 28/02/12
You are always such an inspiration! Will buy you a V large G&T afterwards to celebrate Loads of love to you and the team at VIVA! From Wendy xxx
Donation by Wendy Turner Webster on 27/02/12
+ £5.00 Gift Aid
Juliet and the super team - you must be MAD! Maybe something that needs to be filmed for VeggieVision.TV!! Have fun! With love as always Karin xx
Donation by Karin Ridgers on 24/02/12
+ £5.00 Gift Aid
Good luck all. And keep up the good work.
Donation by Rob Speed on 21/02/12
+ £2.50 Gift Aid
Donation by Paul Maxwell on 21/02/12
+ £12.50 Gift Aid
We Swam for Life!
About the swim
Viva! team Juliet Gellatley, Andy Cox, Rhiannon Buck, Veronika Charvatova and Ash George are mad! Mad about animals and saving our natural world! They risked the freezing cold waters of Lake Windermere in the Lake District to raise funds for Viva!'s campaigns. Despite being scared and well out of their comfort zone they vowed to swim a mile on Sunday 24 June 2012, as part of the British Gas Great North Swim.
Their target is to raise £5,000 for Viva!. It's not too late - please sponsor them now and reward their brave effort!!
Juliet and Andy complete the one mile freeze (errr swim)
Message from Juliet Gellatley, founder & director, Viva!
Yes we did it! Many thanks to all the supporters who have kindly sponsored our swim on Lake Windermere, to raise funds for Viva!'s campaigns to save animals. You have made the madness (and cold) worthwhile! And thank you in advance if you are going to sponsor us now! Please help us reach our target of £5,000.
You've probably gathered that I was the reluctant member of the team! Of course, I eagerly fundraise for Viva!, it's just that I'm petrified of the cold water and a rubbish swimmer. Well, I came 1994th out of 2009 swimmers! It took one hours 30 minutes. But what the heck! I'm just happy to have completed the course and survived unscathed!
Swimmers left in waves every 30 minutes with different coloured hats. Our wave wore pink – particularly fetching on Andy and Ash. It was with a mixture of inevitability and humour that I watched the waves of swimmers who started 30 and 60 minutes after me swim past in their droves. I didn't care – my goal was to finish the course. Every rescue canoeist had a cheerful chat with me as I swam by (yes that slow!) which lifted my spirits no end. Was it cold? Too right! I was elated to reach the end and only got cramp about 20 m away from the finish line so somehow made it.
The team also included Andy Cox, Rhiannon Buck, Veronika Charvatova (who almost froze) and Ashley George. They all took between 51 and 59 minutes and I'm very proud of them!
It just happened to be a wild weekend with storms meaning the event was cancelled for two out of the three days, so we were lucky to swim at all. Rhiannon's tent flooded and blew away the second night! However, we all feel it was well worth it. Despite the bitter cold of the Lake, it is incredibly beautiful! Next time, we'll take a boat though!
So again thank you so much for making the risk of the freezing cold waters of Lake Windermere in the Lake District worthwhile.
Sponsor us now
How did the rest of the team feel after the swim?
Do you want to say my training programme consisted mostly of 10 cigars a day? No? Ok!
Well, I'd never done anything like this - so rather nervous! I didn't want to be the one airlifted to hospital. Lots of the pink wave looked to be taking this very seriously at the start. Then steady progress. Then a bit wheezy (cigars). Then reached half way. Had a little rest there and was descended upon by rescue people. Hurt my pride. Then back by the shore which seemed to move very slowly. Then 200 metres to go and came back to life and a little euphoric, though this may have been hypothermia. Finish! Yesssssss! Then a cruel extra 75 m to get out of the water when my highly refined and accurate training had allowed precisely for 1 mile. Couldn't stand very well and didn't go through the time check straight away as I was looking into the far distance for Juliet. Thus ruined my time!
Felt great afterwards though! All that serotonin flooding in. A real sense of achievement and quite a personal challenge. And it raised lots of money for Viva!. Win win! Met an interesting group of people who do this sort of thing all over the world. So now The Bosphorus, Golden Gate………. Quite like the idea of a sponsored spa break though.
See my agent for further details, personalised gifts, after dinner speeches etc.
'When I first got in the water it felt really cold but I thought that when I start swimming I'll warm up a bit. I did warm up but not much and by halfway I felt very cold even though I was swimming as fast as I could. On the other hand, because the water was freezing I didn't swim the whole distance dipping my head under water and thus had a chance to enjoy the beautiful scenery. I was swimming with Rhiannon and Ash and it was nice to know we were keeping a eye on each other. They had thicker wetsuits so they weren't so cold but I ended up with my teeth chattering! When I finished the swim I felt happy and relieved that I managed to do it. It took me about two hours to warm up again but it was well worth it!'
The wild weather leading up to the swim was terrifying and very dangerous, the floods and gale force winds made the national news. The first two days of the event were cancelled, but the wind died down enough on the third day so we were allowed in the water. At first the cold literally took your breath away, but I swam as fast and as vigorously as I could to bring my body temperature up. We could have given up and been rescued by the safety teams at any point, but we knew we had to finish so we wouldn't let Viva! down. Being hauled out of the water at the finish line was wondrous, and we were all very pleased to get foil exposure blankets!
“Swimming seems a lot harder than I remembered, and I’ve been told with some authority that wild swimming is much physically tougher than doing a few lengths at the local indoor pool. Firstly, there’s the cold to contend with. Secondly, my wetsuit is 10 years old and is made for surfing not swimming, so it is thick and restrictive. It’s going to be a lot tougher than I imagined, but I’m willing to brave cold water, gungy mud, blood sucking leaches and physical exhaustion to help raise money for Viva!’s vital campaigns!!!”
At the start I was extremely apprehensive, but I think all the extra adrenaline was useful…
Once I started, the swim was surprisingly enjoyable, particularly the feeling of being in the beautiful Lake District scenery.
At the finish I felt like I could happily stay in there! But I was still overjoyed to have been a part of this event.