Posted: 08 August 2014

A postman, a Victorian bather, a mermaid and Batman hop into a pool...

We recently caught up with Rosemary Critchley, who took part in a fancy dress swim in support of our work. She answers our questions about her event.

Find out how you, too, can DO something to help children.

Q: You recently took part in a fancy dress swim. Why did you get involved?

A: Two of my grandchildren, Lucy and Harry, are coached by Liverpool Penguin Swimming Club. I take them there for training four times a week. They saw that there was a fancy dress swimming fundraiser at the club and wanted to take part – in fact, it was Lucy who volunteered me for this.

I'm sure they were very impressed by their gran's efforts. Did you do any planning or preparation for the event?

Our friend Emma Jackson initially approached Liverpool Penguins with the idea and they were really taken by it. From there, it was a case of finding people to take part, which proved to be relatively easy thanks to the cause and the fun of the event itself.

In terms of my own training – well, I have always swum - doggie paddled - one stroke, one speed, usually for 70 lengths at a time. But I have been known to top 300 on occasion so I didn’t think it would faze me to swim for two hours dressed up in Victorian swimming gear.

How was it?

The costume dragged in the water and it was with the greatest difficulty I kept the straw hat on the top of my head. Still, we all reached 64 lengths - which is a mile - in the two hours.

I have a feeling that Batman managed several lengths more.

Your costume was brilliant. What made you choose to go as a Victorian bather?

The choice was easy. My grandchildren know me as Story Granny. Many of my stories start off with the immortal words 'Once upon a time, when dinosaurs roamed the world and Granny was a little girl. . . .' So all of my grandchildren are firmly convinced that this is actually the sort of costume I used to wear when I was young!

And we all had a lorra, lorra fun swimming next to the other characters, all grimly determined to complete our lengths.

Batman offered plenty of moral support but Emma the mermaid may have been the quickest. We also had a postman, a diver and a balloon lady.

That's quite a selection. Did you do anything to promote your fundraising and how did you collect donations?

I have a Facebook page that has a fair following - I am a writer - so I used this to inform people about the event and directed these contacts to the JustGiving page. When we set up the event we weren’t thinking of a particular target, however in the end we made over £550 between us.

By Rosemary Critchley - Guest bloggers

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