There's a wicked tale going around that PR Sue Murray overheard a colleague talking about bathing in Chanel - and promptly announced that she'd like to swim the Channel too.
Of course that's just cheap "blonde PR" stereotyping, because Sue Murray, whose Mango Marketing agency represents pukka education brands like SMART Technologies, BETT and The Education Show, is about to do a sponsored Channel swim to raise money for Camfed, the Africa-based education, anti-poverty charity.
"Depending on the weather, on a day between August 26 and September 3, I will be taking on one of life's biggest challenges as I leave the beach in Dover and start my solo swim to France," she says. "Not being the fastest swimmer, it should hopefully take me between 15 to 18 hours. The strict rules mean that I can only wear a normal swimming costume, hat and goggles - nothing more.
"I have been in training for the last two years, getting up before 6am every day and heading to the pool. In the winter I made myself swim at Tooting Bec Lido, an outdoor unheated pool. My first swim of the year was in 3 degrees, the second was a mile in 7 degrees."
Sue Murrray is looking for sponsors for Camfed. It's based on the belief that it is better to fight poverty in rural Africa by educating girls and investing in their economic independence rather than constantly trying to fund and manage the vital economic balance. She adds: "In many rural areas of Africa women face exclusion from education and the opportunities that education itself unlocks."
You can support Sue Murray through her 'justgiving" web page at: http://www.justgiving.com/SueMurrayChannel/
Camfed case study - Beatrice
When poverty forced Beatrice Kinyeli to drop out of secondary school, her future seemed bleak. But after attending her first meeting of Camfed’s unique alumni network (Cama), she gained the courage – and the capital – to start her own business. She came up with the idea of renting out bicycles.
“The day I opened, I had a line of customers,” she says proudly. “I had new bicycles and I was renting them cheaper than anyone else. I was able to pay back my loan and I am applying for a larger loan to expand my business.”
Thanks to her business, Beatrice has been able to create a virtuous cycle of change – for this generation and beyond.