Super Seven to Swim the Channel to Support Struggling Families

Between 3rd-6th October, seven members of 35 Engineer Regiment (Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search) will be taking on one of the world’s toughest open water swimming challenges. They will be swimming the channel as a relay to raise vital funds to support struggling families working with local family support charity Home-Start in Suffolk.

Each swimmer will take it in turns to swim the channel for an hour in rotation, until the team reaches France and for a swim to be officially recognised, you cannot wear a wetsuit! In fact, the only equipment you are allowed is a swimming hat, goggles, a nose clip, ear plugs and your costume. The official distance 21 miles. However, this changes according to the tides.

Sapper Eliza Clarke and her six work colleagues chose to support Home-Start with their fundraising efforts after seeing the incredible work the organisation does to support so many families. “’I wanted to support Home-Start because it’s a charity I feel passionately about. You really see the direct impact being made on the families. We’re taking on a big challenge, but the whole team have always strived to achieve and we wanted to give ourselves the incentive when things get tough during the challenge to think about all the good the money we raise will do for families.”
Fundraising and Marketing Manager for Home-Start in Suffolk Ali Watson said “We are so grateful to the team for choosing to support Home-Start families with this inspirational challenge! We fully understand the effort and training that they have all had to undertake in order to be ready for next week’s swim and we couldn’t be prouder. With so many families needing support and with referral numbers continuing to rise to unprecedented numbers, fundraising activities such as this make a huge difference.”

Home-Start in Suffolk, the county’s largest family support charity, has been supporting families across Suffolk form more than 23 years and were the awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service in 2021.

They offer struggling families throughout Suffolk practical help and emotional support in a friendly, non-judgmental way through their network of over 280 volunteers. The families supported by Home-Start in Suffolk are facing a wide range of challenges including mental health issues, disability, physical health problems, poverty and domestic violence.

“In the last 12 months the charity has worked with more than 1500 families through, home-visiting, telephone support, dedicated groups and drop-in sessions, helping them navigate challenges, empowering them with the skills and confidence to raise their children to flourish.” Said Ali “But to continue to cope with the level of demand on the service it is vital that Home-Start in Suffolk continues to recruit new volunteers and that’s why this fundraiser is so important.”

“We really are delighted that these incredible individuals have chosen to support our organisation in such a unique way,” continues Ali “and we are looking forward to supporting them, watching their progress and cheering them on throughout the challenge!”

The swim began on the 3rd October and the duration will be determined by the weather and tide!

You can show your support for Eliza and the team by following this link to his fundraising page: