working together

2020 activities

2020 was a difficult year but we managed to achieve a few activities in the period before and between lockdowns.

In particular, we’re grateful for the kind donations from people who refused a refund to one of our cancelled events. Some of the money has been used to fund the buoys, the water safety course and a contribution to the RNLI and Coastguard. 

French Patisserie demonstration

Clovis Rondet of Choux Fayre kindly put on a masterclass in Clevedon Sailing Club, demonstrating in French patisserie helped us raise over £400 towards our Children’s Water Safety Courses.

Clovis trained in the Loire Valley, France and moved to Clevedon in 2017. He supplies local restaurants, sells at local markets, and bakes to order for special occasions and events.


Children’s Water Safety Course

Children love the water but don’t always see the dangers. We designed a short 1 hour fun course aimed at children aged 8-10, covering three topics: how to stay safe, float to survive, and how to safely rescue someone. We paid a couple of local lifeguards to run the sessions using funds from our Choux Fayre event. We plan to run more session in 2021.

Pie & Pint Talks

Pie & Pint Talks was a new idea for 2020. Our first event was about mental health with two speakers: Pete White entered the 2020 winter swimming championships in Lake Bled; Alec Richardson swam the Bristol Channel from Penarth to Clevedon in 2018 (read more in Alec’s book  Ask Me Why I’m Stood Here).

Over 30 people booked but kindly refused a refund so proceeds could go to local charities. Three were selected to receive £100 each: Wellspring Counselling  + We are aware + Samaritans (WsM) 

Swimmers membership

When we began organising the Long Swim, Clevedon Sailing Club (CSC) provided full support as they have since for all our events. CSC are a small club with expensive facilities to maintain, so increasing membership and bar sales help them. In appreciation of their support, we paid for a group associate membership for Clevedon swimmers. While covid19 prevented us visiting them in 2020, we look forward to a better future.

Swimming buoys

Water users, particularly swimmers, love a target or something to swim round. We bought and installed some colourful buoys in the lake from donations by local swimmers who had entered one of our cancelled events.

RNLI & Coastguard collection

Local swimmer Maggie Gamble suggested local swimmers have a collection for the Portishead Lifeboat Trust and Coastguard Association. We acted as a collection point for the swimmers, who raised £500 which was split equally between each organisation. 

Clevedon Polar Bear Challenge

Hilary Jenkins Spangle started the Clevedon Polar Bear challenge in 2018 to raise money for charity. We support Hilary by providing back-office support: registration, records and banking support. This year’s cause has raised almost £2,000 so far for a special wheelchair for disabled swimmers.

Mudlarks Polar Bear Challenge

The Mudlarks are the community group working to regenerate Weston Marine Lake. They have organised their own Polar Bear winter swimming challenge to raise funds for this worthwhile restoration project. We’re supporting them by collecting entry fees until they can set up their own bank account.