One man, one Channel to conquer and a goal to raise £25,000 for a good cause.

Chris Astill-Smith is a 24-year-old swimming across the English Channel to support the Dreams Come True Charity. It is a small charity that helps children with life-limiting conditions to achieve their dreams. The reason behind this is not only a wish to give something back to the less fortunate but also to raise awareness of smaller charities out there.

“It is easy to choose a  big charity with a huge marketing budget. Whereas my aim was to raise awareness for a small charity like Dreams Come True, where I could actually see who benefitted from this challenge and families I’ve helped” – says Chris.

Conquering British Channel

At over 21 miles long, the English Channel is not for everyone. Being a strong swimmer since a very young age, Chris decided to take up this challenge and started the 18 months training last April. It normally takes between 12 to 14 hours to do the swim. Even the strongest swimmers struggle to complete the distance in the set time. It mostly depends on the tides and weather conditions.  

However, the only thing that actually scares Chris is being in cold water for a long period of time.

“I swam lake Windermere in the Lake District in August last year. It is half of the length of the Channel. I felt I was going to die. I was in the worst pain I’ve ever been in my life and the cold water was just horrible…”

Also, wetsuits are not allowed, which may sound terrifying. But Chris says it is fine as long as his body gets enough food and is constantly moving.

With such a tough challenge ahead, it may seem that getting up early and training is even a bigger challenge, but Chris has set a goal that keeps him motivated. Since he publicly announced his challenge in January and received more public exposure, the motivation keeps increasing.

Social media helped a lot in raising money. Chris has already raised an impressive £5,000 only through his fundraising page. The reason for such success? Chris believes it is worth trying to put high-quality videos and images as it shows the effort you are putting into it. As an example, he posted a short video to announce his challenge and raised £1,500 within 24 hours!

And there is more to come – Chris is shooting another video which will be released next month, possibly during a fundraising event he is organising, so stay tuned!

Crazy, insane, impossible – some may call it, but Chris’ inspiring story proves that every individual can help in changing the lives of others.

“I believe one can make a difference – that’s why I want to do what I am doing”.

We believe in it as well, that’s why GoRaise aims to help smaller causes, charities and challengers raise money. With simple everyday online shopping like ordering a takeaway or doing your weekly shopping at Sainsbury’s, you can raise money for a charity without spending an extra penny. The retailer will donate a percentage of purchases made to your chosen cause.

So even if you are not planning to do a casual swim with Chris across the British Channel to raise money for the Dreams Come True Charity, just head to their fundraising page and become a supporter of this wonderful charity.