Loves Café owner vows to complete 40 outdoor swims for charity which helped partner

Anna at the bog snorkelling championships.

Anna at the bog snorkelling championships. - Credit: Archant

A Weston-super-Mare woman is completing 40 outdoor swims to raise money for a charity which supported her partner after his leukaemia diagnosis.

Anna and Josh.

Anna and Josh. - Credit: Archant

Anna Southwell, who owns Loves Café in West Street, vowed to take on 40 outdoor swims for charity to celebrate her 40th birthday.

Anna hit her original fundraising target after just 11 swims and is completing the rest of the challenges in aid of Above & Beyond which supports Bristol city hospitals and has helped partner Josh.

She said: “After the diagnosis Josh was immediately admitted to Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre (BHOC) where he has since been cared for and treated.

“I stayed there with him and have been overwhelmed with admiration and respect for the hospital staff.

“The housekeepers, porters, nurses, nursing assistants, consultants, radiologists, surgeons – each and every person we have met has been kind, reassuring, patient, hard-working and thorough.

“The ward Josh stayed on was refurbished with donations to Above & Beyond. Josh has a room of his own where he is able to fully immerse himself into his treatment and recovery, and without this things would feel very different.

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“My family members, my friends’ family members, my friends – we are all touched in some way by this wonderful resource and these hard-working NHS staff.

“The money raised through Above & Beyond will directly help the Bristol hospitals and, fundamentally, help all of us.”

Anna’s latest challenge was the World Bog Snorkelling Championship in Llanwrtyd, Wales, on August 26, where she swam two consecutive lengths of a 60 metre water-filled trench cut through a peat bog.

Anna said: “As my 40th birthday approached I pondered what turning 40 really meant to me. I figured the best way to avoid a personal crisis was to set myself a challenge during this year that would push my boundaries.

“Taking inspiration from an incredible woman I met in January this year, Ella Foote, a wild swim enthusiast, I decided that the challenge would be to take 40 outdoor swims.”

To sponsor Anna visit