22 July, 2020

Breast Cancer UK is delighted to be the chosen charity by one of our supporters who is aiming to do a solo swim of the English Channel.

Malcolm Swarbrick is a man with an important mission – to swim the channel solo and raise funds for Breast Cancer UK simultaneously.

For Malcolm, it all started when swimming became a real proficiency and passion when getting involved in various challenging Triathlons, including several full-distance Ironman triathlons.

He also completed an English Channel three-person relay that culminated in a successful fourteen-hour swim. This inspired him to consider doing a solo swim and use it to raise money for breast cancer. His grandmother had the disease, and friends and some of his colleagues had also been diagnosed over the years.

Breast Cancer UK is humbled to be chosen as its charity and delighted to support his journey, not least because undertaking a mission like this requires extreme and exhausting training, with no guarantees of completing the journey, which is weather and tide dependent. It is also very cold, and this can be a real challenge to overcome.

Swimming the channel for Breast Cancer UK

“Doing a channel swim needs a lot of advance preparation. And even then, there’s only a 50-60% success rate?” says Malcolm. “I can be match fit, but if the weather and the tide are against me there’s only so much I can do.”

Malcolm had to book his tide slot with a registered pilot and observer from the Channel Swimming and Pilots Federation two years in advance. And the actual crossing, when it happens, could take around 16 hours (hopefully less).

Nevertheless, he is determined.  He trains religiously. Six swim sessions every week. In the last three months, the weekend swims have been around five-six hours long for each swim. Whatever the weather, to ensure his physical condition is at its peak. And the temperature of the English Channel is much lower than anything in a swimming pool. Once he’s got the required stamina and endurance level sorted, the rest is down to mental preparation and the support of family, friends and professionals.

Malcolm’s support

The CSPF are the professionals who will supervise and guide the swimmer and keep a watchful eye when he’s swimming. They will provide an official observer to ensure the swim is completed as per the strict English Channel Rules.

Malcolm will have a support crew made up of his loyal friends. They’ll provide him with liquid food and lots of chocolate along the way!! A lot of energy is required to do the swim. But he’s not allowed to touch the accompanying boat at any point in his journey. The swim has to be completed in nothing more than swimming trunks – no wetsuits allowed here!

As Captain Mathew Webb, the first person to swim the Channel in 1875, once said: ‘Nothing Great is Easy’.

Thalie Martini, CEO of Breast Cancer UK, thanked Malcolm for his determination:  “We are both delighted and honoured to be Malcolm’s chosen charity. It takes an enormous amount of physical and mental fitness to undertake such a task. We’ll be supporting him at every stroke of his journey.”

Malcolm will aim to undertake his solo channel journey between the 24th and 28th of August. You can contribute to his just-giving page.

Please support him on this fantastic journey!

Related Articles

11 July 2024

Plastic Free July – Small steps, big difference

From grabbing your morning brew on the go to doing your daily shopping, plastics are woven into so many aspects of our daily lives, often without us even realising it....

Read full story

3 July 2024

Embrace a dry summer: tips for avoiding alcohol  

As the summer months approach, many of us find ourselves in social situations where alcohol is often a focus. However, for those who prefer to avoid or reduce their alcohol...

Read full story

1 July 2024

Garlic and herb roasted new potatoes

Whether as a dish at a barbeque or side for your family dinner, these garlic and herb roasted new potatoes will be your go-to easy potatoes with a summer kick. Serves:...

Read full story

27 June 2024

Thalie Martini, Breast Cancer UK CEO, awarded honorary doctorate at Middlesex University

Credit: Middlesex University Thalie Martini, Breast Cancer UK CEO, has been awarded an honorary doctorate at Middlesex University during its Graduation Week 2024 at a special ceremony on Wednesday 26...

Read full story
Professor Val Speirs

A £10 donation today can help fund our PHD studentships to carry out world-class animal free research into the causes of breast cancer.


Donate £10
Woman on zoom call

A donation of £30 can help fund our Prevention Hub so your loved ones can learn how to reduce their risk.

Donate £20
people holding up hearts

Your donation of £50 can fund our animal free research and educational programmes to prevent breast cancer for future generations.

Donate £50

Just want to help in some way? donate an amount that feels right for you

Start Your Donation

Donate Now

Make a Donation


My One Time Donation

I want to make a one time donation of

Thank you. You’re just a few steps away from completing your donation.

+25% with Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer, the value of your gift can be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you.

This means that your donation of £100.00 could be worth an extra £25.00 to us, and it doesn't cost you a penny!

My Monthly Donation

I want to make a monthly donation

You’re just a few steps away from completing your donation.

+25% with Gift Aid

If you are a UK taxpayer, the value of your gift can be increased by 25% under the Gift Aid scheme at no extra cost to you.

This means that your donation of £100.00 could be worth an extra £25.00 to us, and it doesn't cost you a penny!

One Time Donation Monthly Donation
Make a donation with Gift Aid

Gift Aid is reclaimed by the Breast Cancer UK from the tax that I pay for the current tax year. If I pay less Income Tax and/or Capital Gains Tax than the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all my donations, it is my responsibility to pay any difference. Breast Cancer UK will reclaim 25p in tax back for every £1 I donate.

Your payment details

Your donation amount

Donation Allocation (Optional)

Additional Comments (Optional)

Stay in Touch

We’d love to keep you posted on how your support can make a difference to Breast Cancer UK and the exciting ways you can support us in the future.

Please tick if you’re happy to receive information from us by:

By completing an online donation, your data will be handled in accordance with the Breast Cancer UK’s privacy policy, and the privacy policy of our payment processing supplier BBMS (a Blackbaud company).

Thank You Wall

If you donate over £50, as a way of saying thank you for your donation, we would like to feature your donation on our virtual thank you wall on our website.

Donations will only feature on the wall for up to two months depending on the level of donations we receive.

You must fill out all required fields before paying.


Need help making your donation?

If you need help to make a donation or have any questions about making one, please contact us…

Call 08456801322