Swim 5K this May in aid of Sands and help save babies’ lives.

Whether you fancy braving the bracing seas of the British Isles or the heated waters of your local pool, we want you to join us in swimming for Sands this May.

Swim 5K between May 1st and May 31st  and raise funds to support research into saving lives and ensure bereaved parents and families get the care and support they deserve. 

Collage of various Sands supporters wearing Sands T-shirts swimming caps and smiling to the camera

Sign up by joining the Facebook group:

Swim 5km in May

Private group · 654 members

Join Group

👋 Welcome to Sands’ Swim 5K in September challenge. Take on 5 kilometres throughout September and help raise vital funds for Sands.

A length in your local swimming pool is probably 25 meters (or 50m if you’re lucky and have an Olympic pool!). That means you need to do 200 lengths in May (or 50 lengths a week). 

Image of a swimming pool with swimmers lined up along the edge ready to start swimming


Download these resources to help you on your way:

Digital tracker - download a digital tracker to record your kilometres here (there's one in your pack also!)

Sponsorship form - download this form to collect cash donations. You can then pay these onto your Facebook fundraiser and send us a photo/scan of the form to allow us to claim Gift Aid.


You may have questions about the challenge. If you need to speak to a member of our team, you can email swim@sands.org.uk – but we’re quite busy so it may take us a couple of days to get back to you. In the meantime, you can read our FAQs below.

How do I sign up?

To sign up to the challenge, firstly, join the Facebook group.

Once you’re in the group, you can register for your  t-shirt and swimming cap pack, activate your fundraiser, get tips, be inspired and find out anything you want to know about the challenge! 

I don’t have Facebook but want to take part. How do I do this?

No problem! Simply fill out the registration form. Click register with email.

We will send you a tracker, t-shirt and swimming cap pack and you can set up an online fundraiser on JustGiving. And you can download a copy of the sponsorship form.

Is there an entry fee or fundraising target?

There is no entry fee for this challenge. We do however ask you to fundraise as part of your challenge. Facebook Fundraisers are the easiest way to raise money. Yours will be activated automatically when you register for your t-shirt and swimming cap pack. And then it’s really easy to share the page with your Facebook friends. 

Can I take part in the challenge if I am based overseas?

Yes, you can! You can sign up to challenge and joining the Facebook group. We can send a digital pack to your email - please email swim@sands.org.uk to request one. Due to postage costs, we are unable to send your swimming pack in the post.  You can download and print the tracker.

When and where is this challenge?

This is a virtual swimming challenge for everyone and starts on 1st May. You can do this in your local pool or in the sea, but be sure to take precautions so that you are safe whilst completing your challenge. You can do this together with your friends and family. 

Do I have to raise money on Facebook or can I do it a different way?

Facebook sends the money directly to us, but if you would like to set up a fundraising page on another online platform, we recommend JustGiving. If you use a different online platform other than JustGiving or Facebook, please email swim@sands.org.uk with your fundraising page link.  

You can also collect cash sponsorship using our sponsorship form which is available to download.

Can I have a sponsorship form?

Of course. They are available to download here.

How do I get my swimming pack?

We'll send you your Sands T-shirt and swimming cap after you share your address in the online registration form.

When will my swimming cap and t-shirt arrive?

Swimming caps and t-shirts will be posted from mid-April. The packs take up to 10 working days to arrive and you will receive an email once it has been dispatched to you. It takes 10 working days from the dispatch email. We've got lots to send out and are only a small team so please be patient with us whilst you wait for yours.

My family want to do the challenge with me. Can they have a swimming pack?

No problem! Simply ask them to fill out the registration form and we will send them a tracker, t-shirt and a swimming cap.

If they're not fundraising, you can buy additional swimming caps and t-shirts on our shop.

How do I track how far I've swam?

If you're swimming in a pool, this is much easier! A length in your local swimming pool is probably 25 meters (or 50m if you’re lucky and have an Olympic pool!). That means you need to do 200 lengths in May (or 50 lengths a week).

Keep track of how many lengths you do on your swim and write the number down on your tracker once you're out of the pool. You just need to multiply the number of lengths you did by 25 to give you how many metres you did. There's 5000 metres in 5km.

If you're swimming in the sea or a lake, it's a little trickier. You'll need a waterproof sports watch to track how far you swim. You can get these from around £20 online.

Remember you can log your KMs in Messenger for this challenge, check out the Facebook group to find out how.

Can I do a shorter/longer/earlier/later challenge?

Yes! Every swim you do will help Sands. So do this challenge in whatever way works best for you. Every stroke is very much appreciated! 

Do I have to prove I’ve completed the challenge?

You don’t need to prove you’ve completed the challenge– we trust you! You can post videos, pictures, and updates on your Facebook Fundraiser, in the group or on social media and tag it with #Swim5KInMay. Sharing updates and your milestone badges is also a great way to show those who have sponsored you that you’re committed to completing the challenge. 

How can my friends who aren't on Facebook donate?

Unfortunately it isn’t possible to donate to a Facebook fundraiser if you don’t have an account. We suggest asking them to transfer you the money, and you paying it to your Facebook fundraiser yourself. They could also donate via our website: www.sands.org.uk/donate and adding the challenge name ‘Swim 5K in May' and your name. Please also email swim@sands.org.uk to let us know about this donation.  

I can't find my Facebook Fundraiser, can you tell me where it is?

No problem! Click on this link to view your fundraiser - https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers/manage 

Can I fundraise as part of a team with my friends and family?

Yes you can! You can do a joint Facebook Fundraiser page with your friends and family. The best way to do this is to nominate one person to create the Facebook Fundraiser on their own Facebook account. Please email swim@sands.org.uk to let us know that you are fundraising as part of a team.  

Top tip: Edit the ‘Title’ and ‘About’ section on your page to add your team name and all your team member names.   

If you have friends or work colleagues who do not have Facebook it might be easier to create a joint JustGiving page so you can share if far and wide. You can create one here. Just email the page link to us at swim@sands.org.uk so we can keep a record of it for the end of the challenge.

Someone/I accidentally donated to my Facebook fundraiser. Can you issue them a refund?

Unfortunately we can’t issue refunds - Facebook must do this. People can request a refund themselves from Facebook by following the below steps: 

Send them this link: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact/162031714239823 

Select — I donated to a fundraiser on Facebook 

Select — I want a refund for my donation(s) 

Select — I made a donation by accident. Find their donation in the dropdown and request the refund. 

How do I pay in my fundraising?

If you’ve collected offline fundraising, the easiest way to pay this to Sands if by donating it to your Facebook fundraiser.

If you don't have one, you can also donate on our website. Make sure to say that your money is for your Swim 5K in May so that we can make sure it is added to your total. 

Make sure you email your sponsorship form to swim@sands.org.uk after donating so we can claim valuable gift aid. 

If you’re not able to donate this way, then drop us an email to swim@sands.org.uk and we can discuss other ways of getting the donation to us. 

How do I stay safe in the Facebook group?

Whilst this group is Private, anyone on Facebook can join and view the content. Please take care not to share personal information, including maps sharing your location, and avoid meeting up with or messaging others outside of this group, without taking appropriate precautions. 

Exit Site