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Public Speaker

Anna regularly speaks to audiences both in the UK and overseas and has spoken at the Seven Seas Club in Whitehall, CIBC Markets, Pfizer’s UK headquarters, the Global Open Water Swimming Conference and a wide range of other corporate and educational institutions.

To swim through pain and fear, Anna recites Muhammad Ali’s words: ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’ Anna has a natural ability to engage with people from all backgrounds, and her message that anything is possible if you set your mind on it and work hard at it has a powerful impact. Anna is an inspiring role model and delivers her presentations with passion, energy and humour.

Anna speaks from the perspective as someone who struggled with sport at school, Anna took up swimming when she was 31 after reading about a Channel swim in a newspaper and set her sights on the same challenge. She taught herself front crawl at her local pool, and made her first Channel attempt the following year. She was pulled out after 14 and a half hours, a couple of miles from the French coast, and was hospitalised with hypothermia, shock and exhaustion.

She explains how after a year out of the water, she returned to face her demons two years later and made it to France in 21 hours and 20 minutes despite getting badly stung by jellyfish and swimming through dense fog and pitch darkness. She was awarded the Channel Swimming Association’s Greatest Feat of Endurance Trophy for the crossing.

After completing a 60-mile non-stop swim around the Isle of Wight in 26 hours and 33 minutes she was named Inspirational Woman of the Year 2013 in the Johnston Press South Awards ‘in recognition of her incredible swimming achievements and outstanding efforts raising money for charity’.

Anna has raised in excess of £60,000 for good causes through her swims including over £16,000 for the Samaritans in memory of her dad, who she lost to suicide when she was nine.

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Testimonials

Paul D Jones - Chair, Fareham and Meon Rotary Club

I was so inspired by Anna's talk and found it, like the rest of the audience, quite riveting. I could hardly believe the amount and type of training that she has to do to prepare herself for her 'endurance' swimming.

People didn’t stop talking about her for months afterwards. Even now they are reminded by Anna's achievements as shown and reported on television.

Anna is without doubt an inspiration to us all and her energies and dedication are second to none. Her achievements in raising such a mammoth amount for charity is tremendous, outstanding and she deserves the greatest accolade that we as a country can give her.

Dominique Watson - Former President, Seven Seas Club

Anna came to give us an illustrated talk of her swimming challenges for Ladies Night during my tenure as President of the Seven Seas Club.
Her passion and (excuse the pun) total immersion in her subject was enthralling. She kept the attention of us all describing the sacrifices, pain, determination and thrill of success. As a speaker she is able to conduct her talk without notes, using the photographs projected on screen to bring the talk to life. She also knows just when to finish, leaving her audience wanting more...

Amanda Bembridge - SLT Kingscourt School

We were thrilled that Anna could come and talk to all our children about her inspirational challenge to swim five islands. She spoke to both our pre-prep (4-7) and prep (8-11) departments about her adventures, complete with lucky duck! Anna pitched her presentation perfectly for both age ranges, the children were interested, impressed and asked some good questions. With swimming an invaluable skill for every child, being able to introduce them all to such a warm, friendly and inspirational speaker really brought what she has achieved to life. This combined with her fundraising achievements, I would definitely recommend Anna as a speaker in any school environment, as a positive, professional, inspirational female role model for us all.

Geraldine Carroll - St Vincent's Housing Association, Old Trafford

It’s not often that you will meet such an inspirational and driven person. Due to work commitments I had not intended to stay for the full talk but I was drawn in by Anna’s entertaining delivery and strength of character. Whilst I don’t think I will take up swimming any time soon it certainly gave you food for thought as to the power of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and achieve what many would consider the unachievable.

Lynn Clarke - Headmistress, Wykeham House Girls’ School

When I was looking for a speaker for our Speech Day one of our Trustees recommended Anna as a highly motivational speaker whom she had recently heard at a local event.

I therefore contacted Anna and was delighted that I did so; she was most professional in all of our contacts, listened to our needs in terms of the audience she would be speaking to and even came and visited the school to get to know us a little before the event. All of this preparation meant that on the day she knew the school and was spot on in terms of speaking to a group of girls ranging in age from 4 to 16 and their parents; not an easy task. 

Anna was very inspiring and we have since followed her exploits with considerable interest. I was delighted to have been introduced to Anna and would thoroughly recommend her to you should you be wishing for a speaker away from the traditional academic route. The phrase that has never left me was when she didn’t swim the Channel at her first attempt and someone had told her to say to herself that this was ‘an unsuccessful attempt’ not a failure was wonderful and something I say to girls now when they are having difficulty with their studies.