Tasha took part in the very first Aspire Channel Swim
Tasha has worked at Aspire for 23 years and took part in the very first Aspire Channel Swim in 1999, and again in 2000 and 2010, raising £866 in total. This year, she had raised £560 before the Swim even started.
As 2019 is the 20th anniversary of the Aspire Channel Swim and I have worked at Aspire since its conception, I thought it was about time I did it again! I have always loved swimming and am a qualified swimming teacher, but I’ve never been a competitive swimmer. I prefer to work with the parent and toddler and beginner groups. But even though I teach swimming it doesn’t mean I’m a great swimmer – I can teach you how to swim butterfly but would never demonstrate it! I swim mostly breaststroke.
I enjoy swimming as once I am in the pool its quite therapeutic, but it’s getting there that’s the challenge as I am a working mum of four and play hockey so fitting everything in is the real challenge!
It gives me a chance to get away from everything, have some good thinking time and it’s great for all round fitness and toning.
Once I get the challenge scheduled into my busy life I will look forward to the ‘me’ time and also the fitness benefits.
To begin my fundraising I did the obvious and shared my JustGiving page on social media but when that didn’t get any response I sent an email to all my contacts, both work and personal, explaining why I was taking on the challenge and asking for their support. I also suggested that other people take on the challenge, and at least five people have! Since then I have added a line to my email signature (work and personal) to say what I am doing with the hyperlink and also promoted it at my hockey club where I have had a lot of support from my #hockeyfamily.
I would suggest tapping into any aspect of your work and personal life you can think of
Social media is a big space and posts are often missed – try to relate to the people you are asking. Think about your contacts at work or in the community (school, church, sports clubs) - how they can help, what you can do to inspire them. For example, I have run Harrow Hockey Clubs junior section as a volunteer for a number of years. The parents are very grateful for the time I put in and understand what a challenge this will be for me to fit it all in. I also have good relationships with the small number of suppliers I work with and they have all supported me. It also helps to talk to people about what you are doing in conversation, rather than just sending out an ask, and they will probably ask you how they can sponsor you.
I have worked at Aspire for 23 years, so I get to see first-hand how the money raised from the Aspire Channel Swim helps support people from injury to independence. Then back in May 2018 Neville, who has worked at Aspire for 25 years as a fitness instructor, was kicked off his bike on the way home from work and sustained a spinal cord injury. Even though I have met many spinal cord injured people during my years with Aspire, Neville is the first person I have also known before his spinal cord injury. I have seen how it had changed his life forever; he now needs 24 hour care, has had to adapt his home and is just starting to think about returning to work.
The work we do is so important to help people get their independence back after a spinal cord injury