With this year’s Light (Licensing Industry Giving Help Together) Fund Channel relay fundraiser only a matter of months away, one of the two team captains – Stephen Gould – has been warming up with an Ice Mile.

He completed the one-mile swim in the middle of January at Hatfield Lake in Doncaster in water temperature of 4.4°C and air temperature of -0.5°C. Only 434 people worldwide have achieved a similar feat.

Stephen, who has been swimming competitively since he was eight and became an open water swimmer at the age of 21, has gained a reputation for cold water swimming. He has literally dozens of open water competitions under his belt, including the Thames Marathon, Ullswater, Coniston, Jersey to France and two Channel relays. Now that tally includes the notorious Ice Mile.

But he didn’t just do it for fun. His Ice Mile also helped to raise donations towards this year’s Light Fund target of £250,000, which will be shared by the RNLI and other organisations and projects supported by the charity.

Stephens’s dedicated Just Giving page for the Ice Mile can be found here. Other fundraising initiatives – including a swimming-themed limited edition beer – have taken the Light Fund over halfway to its target. But there’s still a long way to go.

Which brings us to the main event: this summer, on a day between the June 30 and July 3 when weather conditions are right, two boats of six swimmers will be racing each other across the English Channel to France in aid of The Light Fund. All the participants will be from the licensing industry, trying to be first to make it from Dover to the French coast.

The teams are all fit, enthusiastic swimmers, but this is no ordinary swim. France may be ‘only’ 21 miles away but that could end up closer to 40 miles if you include tidal shifts. So the teams are undertaking a tough training schedule, which you can follow at The Light Fund’s Just Giving page and on its Instagram feed. The Just Giving page is also the place to donate. However, if you or your company want to make an even bigger splash, you can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here.

“The Ice Mile was a great warm-up, but the next swim will be a lot longer, so we’re training like mad already – as you can find out on Just Giving and Instagram”

Stephen Gould

As Stephen says: “The Ice Mile was a great warm-up, but the next swim will be a lot longer, so we’re training like mad already – as you can find out on Just Giving and Instagram. But however you follow the progress of the teams, do please make a donation to some wonderful causes – and wish both teams luck!”

The Light Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea to form a committee to help those less fortunate than themselves. It is a registered charity which raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects that help children, women and men. Since its inception in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7 million and funded hundreds of different charity projects.


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