Lockdown lengths

September 22 2020

White curve
Seeking a challenge during lockdown, 10-year-old Tom decided to swim the equivalent of the English Channel and raise funds for Charlie Waller.

Ten-year-old Tom swam the equivalent of the English Channel – that’s an awe-inspiring 21 miles in support of Charlie Waller. Keeping it in the family, he was joined by his eight-year-old brother Jonty, who successfully swam over seven miles.

ten year old Tom wearing a big coat

ten year old Tom wearing a big coat

“It started as something to focus on,” their mum Liz explains, “they were looking for a challenge while they were at home because of lockdown.” Sadly, the boys’ grandfather passed away early on from coronavirus. “He was a great believer in supporting charities,” says Liz, “so in a way they were doing it for him, carrying on his ethos.”


The whole family sat down to discuss what charity to support and agreed on Charlie Waller for several reasons. Liz’s mum used to work with Charlie Waller’s mother Rachel so there was always an awareness and Tom heard a talk at his school from the charity. He says: “It’s a great charity and helps young people who are struggling with their mental health. I’ve read that lots of people have struggled to manage with lockdown and I hope charities like Charlie Waller will help them.” Their four-year-old sister Rose joined in the discussion too, agreeing that they should “support a charity that helps stop people feeling sad.”

Happy boy in swimming pool

Happy boy in swimming pool

It took Tom 56 days to complete the challenge, swimming every day with Jonty, and to date, they have raised over £1,000. “I was so impressed by their commitment,” Liz says. “I’m very proud of them.”

Inspired by Tom and Jonty's fundraising efforts? Why not come up with your own challenge or event to support Charlie Waller!

Visit our fundraising page

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