Steven is honoured to be able to raise money for Aspire
My Dad, George, was a coal face miner, keen fisherman and I’m told that he was a phenomenal swimmer. My first swimming lesson was my Dad throwing me in the water as a baby and then jumping in after me. It sounds bad but he knew I was safe! Then in 1979 he tragically broke his neck when he hit his head on a large piece of underlying wood in the River Wear. He broke C4, 5 and 6 and his chances of survival were very small. The amazing people of Ward 10 in Hexham and my beautiful mam Irene made sure that he had amazing care and dedication. I was only four so I don’t have memories of my dad walking, which saddens me, and life was tough living with a dad who was tetraplegic. But love was always shown to me and my siblings and my mam ensured we were always looked after in the best possible ways.
I am a very emotional person and I feel absolutely honoured to be able to raise money for Aspire
I generally raise money for many charities, but this was the first charity I had heard of that dealt with spinal cord injuries. I have fundraised a lot over the years so it’s a little harder to get people to pledge, although my friends at Sing United have given a massive amount! I use social media a lot to ask for donations. I don’t tend to ask verbally, I try to make it so they can’t ignore me!
Until the challenge, I hadn’t swum since 2015 when I completed all five of the Great Swim series. Swimming can be quite lonely so having a charity to focus on is great because I’m swimming for someone else. During the Swim I keep trying to better the stats on my Garmin and I have kept the weight from creeping on! So far I have swum just over 14 miles, with two weeks to go. I started very late but WILL make sure I make it by the finish date.
The Facebook Group is just how I thought it would be - lots of lovely and different people with lots of life struggles and reasons to attempt the challenge. I would recommend it because people can see that they aren’t alone in their struggles and that we are all human trying to do a good thing.