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World Swim Day 2021 - What Swimming Has Done for Me by Sophie Etheridge




Our beneficiaries are at the heart of what we do, and we celebrate them and their achievements. We recently found ourselves in awe at Sophie’s recent achievement of swimming 2 lengths of Lake Windermere, a goal she had set for October 2020 rescheduled to October this year. Sophie has set up an informative and inspiring website, writing a blog to share her reflections and experience with others. Her most recent blog was celebrating World Swimming Day on October 23rd., which you can read here:


Sophie has been kind enough to share a few words with us in respect of her journey with us:


"I was signposted to Illuminate and their ‘Confidence for Change’ course by the Papworth Trust, which I completed just before the pandemic lockdown in March 2020. I knew a lot of what we were taught but being on the course reminded me of what I can do, that I have self worth and I am not useless. After this course I kept in touch with Anna at Illuminate and when they started their ‘Craft 4 Smiles’ and ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ courses -  I signed up. The sessions were on through lockdown so, because at the time I was managing to go several days without seeing another person apart from my carers, these community sessions really helped me through lockdown.  They increased my confidence even further and helped me focus on my personal goals. The ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ in particular helped me as it gave me the confidence to write, and confidence in what I write too. I don't know that I would have ever decided to start a blog if it wasn’t for the confidence boost that ‘Writing for Wellbeing’ gave me. I now write a regular blog which is popular and, as a result of it, I have been interviewed for podcasts, magazines, newspapers and other various articles too. I have now even been asked to attend a large event as part of a speaker panel and I am unsure that I would be doing all this if it wasn’t for my Illuminate journey."