19 year old Bryony Simssen will take part in the Great North Swim in June, swimming 1 mile in open water, raising money for St John’s Hospice.
Bryony, who has Down Syndrome, has recently undertaken a couple of sponsored walks in and around her home town, Morecambe. This year however, she has really pushed herself to take on her biggest challenge yet, The Great North Swim at Brockhole, Lake Windermere on 9th June.
Bryony’s mum, Theresa, is so proud of her daughter’s determination and desire to help a local charity close to their hearts, “My father died at St John’s in 1995 and they also cared for two of my aunts before they died. It really is a very special place. Although Bryony never knew her grandfather, she knows the great work the hospice do, and is always talking about how she might fundraise for them. Her sponsored walks in the past have all been her own idea, and so too has the swim. She is a very determined young woman when she puts her mind to it and I couldn’t be more proud of the way she has given herself to this challenge. She has already swum half a mile indoors, and she is excited to keep pushing so she is ready for the full mile in June. Thankfully, her brother Rupert and his girlfriend Lauren will be coming up from London to swim with her on the day; I’m terrified of the water myself so I’m no use to her at all!”
When Theresa and Bryony contacted the hospice to inform them of the challenge, Community Fundraiser Lisa Morgan managed to secure some great support from Ian Bailey at The Runner’s Centre in Lancaster and from Ceri Smith, Swimming Coach from The Aquatic Body. Lisa said, “As soon as I spoke to Bryony and her Mum about the swim, I knew there would be so many people wanting to help Bryony along the way. Ian has kindly given Bryony a top of the range wetsuit to keep and Ceri is giving her some open water swimming lessons to get her ready! Ceri has even offered to swim with her on the day. Both Ian and Ceri aren’t charging a penny, they too were totally inspired and in awe of Bryony’s determination.”
So, when asked why she wants to take on such a challenge, Bryony was typically stoic and understated, “It’s something different in life, isn’t it? The hospice is a local charity and it is important to my family, so I want to raise as much as I can. Thank you to Lisa, Ian and Ceri for their help too.”
If you have been inspired by Bryony’s story, and would like to make a donation to support her efforts, you can do do online HERE.