A person open water swimming. They wear a red swim cap and a green Macmillan armband.

Organise your own swim

Organise your own swim for Macmillan. It's your challenge, so you choose where and when you want to swim.

If you love that feel of gliding through the water and that warm, weary buzz you get when you finish swimming, then taking on your own swim challenge is the perfect way to support people living with cancer. It's your swim, so you choose where you want to swim, and you choose when you want to do it.

When you register your event

A swimmer doing front crawl in open water.
You get helpful tips and advice
Receive ideal tips and advice for your type of event.
A woman smiling in a pool, wearing a swim cap with goggles on top of her head, holding onto a lane divider.
Lets us know you are supporting Macmillan
We love hearing how you’re supporting us, so please share your story.
A man smiling while talking into a headset
You get fundraising support
Our team can help you reach your target by offering tips, advice and support by phone.

Quick steps to plan your swimming challenge

The number one.

Choose a place to swim

The number two.

Choose a date(s)

The number three.

Get your team together

The number four.

Register your challenge

The number five.

Set up your fundraising page

Your impact

In 2020, our supporters raised over £750,000 by doing their own physical activity challenges, including swimming. That money could support our Cancer Information and Support team to run our Macmillan Support Line phone service for five months. In this time, they could deal with over 40,000 calls and web enquiries from people who want questions answered, need practical or financial support, or just want to chat.

Find out more about why your support matters.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • I need some help with fundraising ideas, can you help?

    We love fundraising and want to help make sure it's as easy as possible for you. We've got lots of ideas to help get the money rolling in.

  • Can I get another sponsorship form?

    Yes, you can download another sponsorship form here.

    If you don't have access to a printer, you can ask us for one us by emailing swimming@macmillan.org.uk and we'll post one straight out to you and you can carry on with your fundraising.

  • I’ve completed my swim, how do I pay the money in?

    Paying your money is easy. Find out how.

Planning and preparation

  • Where can I find help with training?

    We have training plans to get you in tip-top shape. You should also check out our guidance on how to stretch, strengthen, and fuel for your walk with professional advice from our training partner Running with Us.

  • How far in the future should I pick a date for my swim?

    Lots of things can affect how far in advance you plan your swim. Will you need to do some training? Will you want to hold extra fundraising events to help you reach your target.

    If you're planning or organise a team swim, how much notice might people need to get it in their diaries? And will you need time to apply for permission from the council.

    Lots of our swimmers start planning three to six months before their swim to give them plenty of time to fit fundraising and planning around their busy lives. If you're planning something ambitious, you might need a bit longer.

  • What can I do to make sure my swim is safe?

    If you're swimming in your local pool then please follow the pool guidelines, and speak to the lifeguard if you have any questions or concerns.

    If you're planning an open water swim challenge, we admire your sense of adventure, but there's lots more to think about to ensure you're being as safe as possible. Check out this page from Outdoor Swimmer for helpful advice on when swimming in open water.

    If you need further advice, get in touch with our Supporter Care team on 0300 1000 200 or by emailing swimming@macmillan.org.uk.

  • What swimming gear do I need?

    If you're swimming in your local pool, then a suitable swimming costume, a pair of goggles, a towel and some water is enough to get you started. Swim caps are great too, being streamlined is everything in swimming, as is being visible – and the Macmillan caps look great too.

    If you're going to be swimming in open water, then you may well need more kit to be fully prepared. Check out this useful information about open water swimming kit from Swimming.org.

Macmillan materials

  • Can I get a t-shirt for my event?

    Yes, you can order a t-shirt for free from be.Macmillan. If you would like more, you can buy t-shirts, other clothing, water bottles, and other useful items from our online shop.

  • How can I get posters and flyers to advertise my event?

    You can create your own event materials on be.Macmillan. Once you've registered on the website you can create any materials you need for your event.