On 16th September, RAF Veteran Cath Pendleton will plunge into the chilly waters of the English Channel to swim to the shoreline of France and in so doing raise vital funds for SSAFA…

Cath is hoping her epic challenge will take between 16 – 20 hours, with no break from the water allowed. The swim will end when she climbs out of the water on the French shoreline onto dry land and stand up for the swim to count. She cannot predict exactly where she will come ashore as it all depends on tides and her swim speed.

She will be wearing only a standard swimming costume, silicone hat and goggles as no insulating neoprene wetsuits are allowed under the English Channel swimming rules. Cath will have to take small bites of food and sips of carbohydrate drinks thrown to her by her crew from the pilot boat and at no time is she allowed to touch the boat – or the swim is void.

The boat will be alongside her the whole way, keeping her safe by navigating the safest route to cross one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, with about 500 ships passing through it every day.

After leaving the RAF, Cath’s marriage broke down and she had to relocate. Starting to build a new life for herself and her children, Cath needed support with making her home liveable as it had bad damp problems which was having a detrimental effect on her asthmatic daughters’ health.

Never forgetting the support that she received from SSAFA during this time, Cath is now taking on this challenge so that the charity can help more members of the military community when they most need it. This is the first time that anyone has even swum the Channel for SSAFA, so it’s a monumental occasion.

You can support Cath’s challenge here.