Willow blog

Cameron McLean – Cam’s Crossing

November 12, 2015

Cameron McLean first found out about Willow when he came across a Special Days story online: the story of James who was immortalised as a character in the video game Total War: Rome II. Cameron says that reading about this Special Day “struck a chord” with him being of a similar age, and moved him to want to help Willow. In particular he was keen to support “the personal approach Willow takes to create unique and tailored Special Days”.

Cameron had wanted to swim the English Channel since he was 13, and once he had chosen the cause, he booked his escort boat in 2014 and started seriously training. Whilst he considered this a personal accomplishment, it also helped him raise money for a cause he describes as “fantastic” – Willow.

The distance of the English Channel is 34km (21 miles) from the White Cliffs of Dover at Shakespeare Beach in England to Cap Gris-Nez in France. However, bearing in mind the force of the tides, he probably took on more than 40km. Cameron started training in late 2014, far in advance of the big day, working up from forty lengths in his local pool (1km) to doing 70km per week by August. Amazingly, Cameron managed to fit this all in around his working week.

On Friday September 25 Cameron took on this mammoth task. His team, who were his friends Gabriella and Marcus, and his father Andrew, boated alongside him and fed him snacks. They encouraged him by reading out messages of support from his Facebook page and website, and Cameron said this was a huge morale boost.

After 13 hours and 49 minutes of tireless swimming, Cameron arrived on the coast of France. He called this an “euphoric moment” to end his landmark swim. Having been awake for over 24 hours, Cameron finally returned home for some much-deserved rest.

“Doing it all for Willow has been an absolute pleasure and I am most grateful for their support in return which inspired me when I had doubt, motivated me when I was feeling worn-out and encouraged me to achieve one of my dreams.”

Cam and his supporters publicised as much as they could about his Channel crossing, having set up a Facebook page, dedicated website; and we were blown away that he even threw a black-tie ball with Willow in mind. Since he decided to cover all the necessary costs of the challenge out of his own money, such as the pilot boat, every pound raised goes directly to creating more Special Days for those who need them.

Cameron’s JustGiving page is still taking donations – www.justgiving.com/camscrossing

Read the Special Day story that inspired Cameron