News: Churchill Fellow swims the Catalina Channel to raise awareness of the impact of suicide on children

Published: 30 Aug 2019

News: Churchill Fellow swims the Catalina Channel to raise awareness of the impact of suicide on children

2019 Churchill Fellow Anna Wardley has swum the 21-mile channel in California to shine a light on suicide loss

Anna completed the swim in 18 hours and 31 minutes between 8 and 9 August. The challenge marks the beginning of her travels around the USA as part of her Churchill Fellowship. She has undertaken many endurance swims to publicise the issue of suicide loss including the English Channel, the Strait of Gibraltar and round the Isle of Wight.

 Anna says: "I’m here in the USA on my Churchill Fellowship travels to research how we can better support children after suicide loss. My Catalina Channel swim, challenging as it was, is nothing compared to what is faced by children after the loss of a parent to suicide.”

 “Like many who have lost somebody to suicide, I’m familiar with navigating the darkness and nothing I face in the water comes close to the challenges that I’ve faced on land even if that’s swimming through shark territory in the dark. Those experiences give me the resilience to persevere when the going gets tough.”

Anna Wardley's swimming cap and goggles

 Anna has already visited Australia in June. Once her research in the USA concludes, she will travel to Denmark early next year. 

Learn more about our Fellowships for suicide prevention, intervention and postvention