PCSO swimming the English Channel in her paddling pool

PCSO swimming the English Channel in her paddling pool

Published by Maria Greenwood at 12:05am 9th May 2020.

A PSCO from Weymouth is swimming the time it takes to cross the English Channel from a tiny pool in her back garden. 

Alison Donnison is a Community Support Officer, who does cold water swimming as a hobby.

She wanted to do something to raise money for the NHS after she was inspired by one of her colleagues, who ran 5k in uniform. 

As a regular cold-water swimmer, Alison was missing her daily swim, after the RNLI advised people not to go in the sea during lockdown to keep rescue services safe.

Alison Donnison

She says she had to persuade her husband to get a pool big enough to fit in the back garden:

"My friend was due to be married over in France and I was meant to be getting the ferry on Thursday 7th May.

"So, I thought what a crazy wonderful idea it would be to "swim" the English Channel in my pool and raise money for the NHS."

Alison Donnison husband pool

Alison is raising funds for Dorset County Hospital and splitting the money between the COVID-19 and Chemotherapy appeal.

"I've been training throughout the winter, without evening knowing, because me and my friend Deborah have been swimming in the sea all year round.

"So, we've been getting used to the cold water, she's also going to be doing the challenge in her back garden."

To prepare for the swim, Alison says she's been swimming 30 minutes at a time:

"That's really how I intend on completing the challenge, just to make sure I don't add to the NHS workload by getting a case of hypothermia."

Alison will complete the challenge once she's swam for 13 hours, 33 minutes and 54 seconds, which is the time it takes to swim the English Channel.

She has a target of £500, and here's how you can donate.