Swim For Terri
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Saturday 6th December, 2003


Swim For Terri
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A documentary called ‘Being Terri’ was aired on 9th June 2003 on British television. The programme told the story of a little girl called Terri Calvesbert who suffered 90% burns in a house fire just before her second birthday. It is probably one of the most moving pieces of television I have ever seen.

Two friends agreed to share with me a swim of a distance equivalent to the English Channel, 35km, to raise money for Terri’s Trust Fund. We planned to email a few of our closest friends, raise some sponsorship money, and send it to Terri’s Trust. And that was all.

Over the following few days others volunteered to do a Swim For Terri where they lived and word then seemed to spread. Six weeks later there are swims in some 70 countries around the world.

Rob Mather

London
Sept 2003

UPDATE - 15 Jun 2012

A new documentary has recently been broadcast, bringing Terri's story up to date.

If you would like to get in touch with Terri and her family please email Terri's dad Paul at


UPDATE - 10 Jun 2006

It’s three years since I first saw the documentary Being Terri. I rounded up three people to swim and raise money to help Terri and that led to 10,000 people swimming in 150+ swims in 70+ countries.

100% of the money raised was sent to Terri’s Trust Fund, set up by the Ipswich Evening Star some years before.

A very grassroots effort saw us raise something like £200,000. I cannot be precise with the total as the initial monies raised were added to by subsequent swims including a number of schools around the world deciding to have a ‘Swim For Terri’ every year from now on.

Over the last few years the Being Terri programme has been aired in a number of different countries. A number of people have then found this website. They, and others, have asked a number of questions. I hope the following helps you.

  1. Can I get hold of a copy of the programme?
    Answer: Yes. Email me and I can send you a dvd copy. There’s no charge.
  2. I want to organise a swim and raise money for Terri. Can I?
    Yes. If you send me a paragraph describing where you are, who is going to swim, we will add it and a red dot to the map of the world.
    See other examples here
    If you like, we’ll send you a sponsorship form to help you raise money.
    You then send any monies raised directly to the Terri Calvesbert Trust and NOT to me but do let me know how much you have raised. It helps us have some idea of the total as people often ask.
  3. How is Terri doing?
    Over the last few years the answer has pretty much been ‘very well’. Every now and again the Ipswich Evening Star carries information on Terri.

UPDATE - 13 July 2004

Already received at the Trust is £120,000+ and we are waiting for a number of swims that took place after Dec 2003 to confirm final amounts and send in monies. It looks as though the final figure could be quite a bit more than this.

People continued to come forward and offer to organise a swim in their country where to date there has not been a Swim For Terri. So countries continue to be added! Several schools in different parts of the world have decided very generously to have a Swim For Terri fundraiser every year from now on.