A former Crawley Observer and West Sussex County Times reporter, who wrote numerous newspaper campaigns in support of the homeless is to swim 2.5km for the cause.
Anna Coe, who now works for the homelessness charity Renewed Hope Trust, will do the 100-length challenge with her husband Scott in March - just days after the charity’s winter night shelter closes for the season.
Anna said: “My passion for helping the homeless started when I was writing Christmas campaigns. We supported charities helping those finding themselves alone and vulnerable over the festive season like The Salvation Army, Horsham Matters, Age UK and the ARK Horsham, which sadly no longer exists.
“I heard some very moving stories during that time and I also volunteered, but never have I done a fundraiser to help the homeless.
“Working for the charity in Redhill, I see the need up close every day and it’s heart-breaking. Also it’s easy to see how close we all are to being in the same position.
“I enjoy swimming but 50 lengths is a lot for me, so 100 is crazy. I will swim each one knowing the money is going to help people desperately struggling with poverty, addiction, mental illness and loneliness.
“I would loved it if any of my former newspaper contacts feel they could support me in this.”
Renewed Hope Trust runs a daytime Drop-In all year round and from mid-December to early March organises the East Surrey Winter Night Shelter.
Over 13 weeks, 12 churches share hosting the Shelter where guests have an evening meal, bed and breakfast for as long as they need it up until March. During the day they receive friendship, a hot meal and vital emotional support at the Drop-In as well as signposting to permanent housing, addiction support, debt advice and employment.
Nearly all the charity’s income comes from donations from churches, individuals and practical help from a loyal team of volunteers.
For more information go to rhtes.org and to sponsor Anna go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/annacoe1