Simon was swimming for YoungMinds, a UK organisation that helps young adults understand better, cope and live with the challenges faced through mental health battles and provides support and advice to friends and parents of troubled youths. They are a leading mental health charity for young people with the goal of creating a world where no young person feels alone with their mental health.
At the beginning of 2020, Simon lost his oldest and closest friend, Jamie Prendergast, after a life-long battle with mental illness. After this, he was introduced to YoungMinds by Jamie’s dad, Peter. YoungMinds focuses on early intervention, which can be crucial for many young adults in helping to prevent their symptoms from worsening. And although Simon has had a lifelong interest in swimming the channel, being introduced to this charity soon became his ‘why’.
Many factors come into play to swim the English Channel successfully. Not only do you need to be physically fit, but you also need to prepare to face mental battles, which can make it feel like an ever-lasting, isolating swim. Simon trained for nearly two years before taking on the challenge, including completing the 29-mile ‘20 Bridges’ swim around Manhattan and the Kingdom Swim in Vermont.
The result was a near £45,000 in money raised, all being contributed to YoungMinds, helping them to make an impact on a host of young adult lives.
Watch a short documentary, created by Craft Worldwide, showing Simon's journey below: