Yesterday when I was supposed to be writing this I fell asleep in my Premier Inn bed in Dover with a cherry bakewell by my side. Thankfully the cherry bakewell didn’t get squashed and survived so when I woke up, I made myself a stiff cup of black coffee, ate it and started typing.

It’s hard this training for the Channel. I’m spending every weekend by the sea. It’s wet (obvs), cold (totes) and very very tiring (zzzz). So I guess it’s got to have a purpose and today, for the first time, I would like to ask if you would consider sponsoring me.

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t attempting to swim the Channel for selfish reasons. It’s my childhood dream turned midlife crisis. But I figure that since I am doing it – and less than 500 women have ever got across – it’s also an opportunity to raise awareness and money for two causes that mean a lot to me.

The first is the theatre I run in London – the Lyric Hammersmith – a registered charity that makes great theatre but also does a huge amount of work with young people in the local community. I have chosen to specifically raise money for the projects we run for children in care. Looked after children are some of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and one of the saddest things is that they often haven’t had families to introduce them to the arts and all the joy and learning that this can bring. Maybe, it’s even sadder for me, because I also know first hand that there are so many families in the world who don’t have the children they long for and would love nothing more than to take their children to the theatre. So the second charity I am raising money for is INUK – the UK’s national charity supporting those facing IVF and infertility. Following the publication of my book, The Pursuit of Motherhood, I was asked to become a trustee of the charity and one of the things I value most about it is its free and independent support and advice. In a world where fertility has become big business there is still a shocking lack of guidance and emotional care for those going through it whether or not they end up with a baby and INUK is a lifeline for those who don’t know where to turn.

In the old days, I would have to get you to sign your name on my sponsorship form, collect the money and post it off to my chosen charities. But nowadays, thanks to the beauty of the internet, all that fuss is gone. You are just a click and credit card away from helping and all the money I raise goes direct to them.

If you do feel able to sponsor me (and please don’t worry if you don’t) then choose which charity matters most to you: for my JustGiving page for the Lyric Hammersmith click here; and for my JustGiving page for Infertility Network UK click here.

Of course this does now mean I have to do it. I really have to do it. But I suppose the good thing is that with all this training I don’t need to feel guilty about that Cherry Bakewell (in fact I don’t need to feel guilty that I actually had two!)

http://www.thepursuitofmotherhood.com

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