I may as well introduce myself. I come from Henley, and returned here having been to music college in London,
where I studied violin, piano & viola. When my children started school (I have 3. Mae 19, Ava 16, Alfie 14), I was constantly asked to run music clubs, teach individuals & run the orchestra (yes, a primary school orchestra! Now extinct). So I set up Henley Music School (HMS), which at this point just had a couple of clubs, and some individuals at various schools. I then was asked to teach the violin & latterly to run the Henley Festival Orchestra, which, when funding was pulled I was then asked to take it over as HMS. I now suddenly had a lot more children, lessons & instruments. I turned HMS into a community interest company.
This just grew & grew, to the point where more funding was needed, so made the charitable conversion in 2018. Since then we have gone from a micro-charity, to a small charity and continue to grow. As a charity HMS should not exist, the services we provide particularly to the state sector should be provided by a well-run government, and should be expected of the education system.
Funds, in the current climate are increasingly difficult to find, I am always looking for new ways to raise money - this is where we had the hair-brained plan to swim the channel.
We all love swimming in the Thames, having damaged my back running the London Marathon in 2016 I had to find another way of keeping fit, so I joined Henley Open Water Swimming Club - I was immediately hooked! I taught myself front crawl, and the distances increased. I now love long-distance swimming, I've swum the Thames Marathon twice (14k from Henley Bridge to Marlow Bridge) the Henley Classic 3 times - 2.2k upstream. Wild Wye 10.5k. Austrian Majors in Bled, Slovenia 5k. And I am signed up to do the Bled Winter Challenge, where the ice has to be broken to swim!
I am most worried about the salty water, and the big waves. Not that keen on the idea of jellyfish either! I feel it is always good to have a goal, and life is for living - So I plan to make the most of it.