A determined Weston woman has completed a gruelling seven-month swimming challenge to raise money for Weston Hospicecare in memory of her partner’s mum.
Hannah Martin, aged 24, swam an incredible 3,348 lengths of Hutton Moor Leisure Centre’s 25-metre pool between March and October.
The distance equates to 52 miles – and if that’s difficult to envisage, it might help to know it is a little further than a return car journey from Weston to Cribbs Causeway.
But the numbers behind Hannah’s challenge all had special significance.
The 52-mile target was selected to match the age of Lisa Osborne, the mother of Hannah’s partner Josh Osborne, in whose memory Hannah was swimming.
Lisa was 52 when she died in the care of the hospice in 2016 after a five-year fight against breast cancer.
And the dates of Hannah’s challenge were selected to honour Lisa too; the challenge began on the anniversary of Lisa’s death on 11 March, and finished on 22 October, which would have been Lisa’s birthday.
Hannah, of Spring Hill, raised £744.47 (plus gift aid) for the hospice, including a £100 donation of her own, and says it was knowing she was supporting a charity which had cared for Lisa in her final days which had spurred her on when the going got tough.
She said: “The whole point of a challenge is for it to test you, therefore I wanted to create a challenge which wouldn’t be easy, wouldn’t take just one day’s commitment – therefore I set myself the challenge to swim 52 miles.
“I thought doing this challenge would help me feel closer to Lisa and make my family proud while also raising money for Weston Hospicecare.
“I saw first-hand that Weston Hospicecare gives great care to its patients and support the family throughout the whole process of a loved one having cancer and feel that support is so important to every family.
“On certain days, if I was struggling to hit my target, I would remember that I was doing it for the hospice and doing it for Lisa, and that kept me going.”
Lisa says she was thrilled by the support and generosity of partner Josh, her friends and family, and the customers of her parents’ Pet Mania shop in Worle. Indeed, her family turned out en masse for the final leg of her swim and unfurled congratulatory banners at the poolside.
Although Hannah’s challenge is now over, anyone who would like to donate in recognition of her efforts can still do so at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/swimforlisa