Paul Redding, CEO of the independent record company Beggars Group, plans to swim the English Channel to raise £200,000 (about $263,000) for two music-related charities: the PRS Foundation in the United Kingdom and the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund in the United States.
Redding plans to embark on his epic swim in September. The channel, which separates England and France, is about 21 miles wide at a minimum, but that distance can actually increase depending on the current. Per the website of the British seaside town of Dover — where most swimmers embark on their journey — 1,881 people have successfully crossed the channel, with an average solo crossing time of about 13-and-a-half hours.
Redding is raising money for his swim via Crowdfunding.co.uk, where, as of publication, he’s already amassed over £28,000 (approximately $37,000) in donations. Beggars Group — which owns and distributes labels like 4AD, XL, Matador and Rough Trade — has committed to donating £1,000 (about $1,300) for every mile Redding swims, plus an extra £25,000 (just under $33,000) if he completes the journey.
The donations will be split equally between the PRS Foundation and Sweet Relief. The money raised for PRS will help their efforts to “power up black music creators and black industry professionals through a large-scale program they will announce later this year.” The Sweet Relief donation will go to the group’s Covid-19 fund, which “provides much-needed financial support to US-based musicians and music industry workers affected by the coronavirus.”