Nurse joins group to swim English Channel

2nd Jul 2015

A community nurse at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH) teamed up with friends in a bid to swim the English Channel and raise funds for SANDS (Stillbirth and neonatal death charity).

Rebecca Vivian, a community staff nurse at SWBH, swam with five friends to raise awareness and a fund for SANDS, after her friend Mary lost her unborn baby at 36 weeks and 3 days and was born at 37 weeks. The traumatic event changed Mary’s life and drove her to help other families cope with stillborn births.

The swimming team set off from Dover on the 25th June and reached France in 12 hours and 18 minutes. Speaking about the experience, Rebecca said: “We were quite lucky as the weather was very nice and the sea was so clean. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me. It was daunting seeing so many ships around me, and the sea was cold and choppy. Although I did a lot of swimming practice in a lake, swimming in the sea is truly different.

“For the first hour of swimming, it was quite tough because I had never swam in such deep water before. By the second hour, everything got better. I got used to the temperature and my friends cheered me on and encouraged me to keep going.

“When we finished, I felt so proud of what we had achieved and felt like the experience had demonstrated that you can do anything as long as you want it enough.

“So far, we have raised £12,000 for the charity with a little more to come. If anyone is interested in supporting us, please visit  or text: DYST67 and the amount of money (£3, £5 and £10) that you would like to donate to 70070.

Back to News Stories