Gangsta Grannies get into the swim of things

Gangsta Grannies get into the swim of things

Two ladies, who dub themselves the Gangsta Grannies, are undertaking a mammoth challenge in August swimming the English Channel to France and back to help BCHA support local vulnerable women and children.

Taking their nickname from David Walliams’ best-selling children’s book, 58-year-old Ali Budynkiewicz and 48-year-old Lisa North, two grandmothers from Dorset, will be swimming in relay, taking it in turns with two hour shifts, from Dover to France and back again between August 26th – 31st, swimming on the best tide and conditions decided by their pilot Paul Foreman on his boat Optimist. This endurance challenge has never been done by two women before.

The ‘Grannies’ are fundraising for BCHA, who are a local housing and social care support provider, helping homeless, vulnerable and other people access the right housing, health, learning and work opportunities.

It is anticipated that Lisa and Ali will be in the water about 30 hours in total, swimming in two hour shifts, with the “rest” period spent recovering from the drop in core temperature and refuelling to swim again. They will also have three helpers on the boat to dress and feed them, as well as to help them get warm again between swims.

“We are training very hard, although the sea hasn’t been very warm yet,” comments Lisa, “but at least there are no jelly fish at the moment!”

If you would like to donate to the Gangsta Grannies Double Channel Swim 2016, please visit

For more information on BCHA visit