Susan Taylor Channel swim funeral held

About 400 mourners gathered for Susan Taylor's funeral at St Mary's Church in Barwell, where she lived

Hundreds of mourners paid their respects at the funeral of Susan Taylor, who died attempting to swim the English Channel.

The 34-year-old swimmer collapsed close to the French coast and died on 14 July while raising money for Diabetes UK and Rainbows Hospice in Loughborough.

Family and friends gathered at St Mary's Parish Church in her home village of Barwell, Leicestershire.

Susan Taylor Susan Taylor's paramedic brother battled to save her life

Since her death donations to the two charities have reached almost £80,000.

'Proud'

About 400 people filled the church, which was where she married her husband Stephen.

Many mourners wore the swimmer's favourite colour, purple.

She was taken to the church by a horse drawn hearse before being carried inside to The Swimming Song by Vetiver.

David Wright, Ms Taylor's brother, speaking on behalf of the family, said: "Susan was brave and determined until her last stroke.

"Everyone should feel proud of what Susan achieved in her lifetime and the fact that her story has drawn such support from many people some of those didn't even know her is a fitting tribute to her. We are so proud of her."

The service was led by the Rector Philip Watson who also read the eulogy.

"Susan has always been a kind and caring person," he said.

"She was very proud of her work for charity as an ambassador for Rainbows and a fundraiser for Diabetes UK.

Start Quote

When we learned of this tragic news, everyone at Rainbows was devastated and today is a very sad day”

End Quote Geoff Ellis Chief executive at Rainbows Hospice

"Her family have visited Rainbows Hospice since her death and were so pleased to see the amazing support that the hospice gives to the children young people and their families."

'Full of joy'

Speaking before the service, friend and swimming coach Dr Julie Bradshaw paid tribute to Ms Taylor, who gave up her job as an accountant to dedicate her time to the challenge.

"Susan was a lovely person, full of life, full of joy and, like myself, loved swimming," she said.

"She went for the Channel, a dream of hers, and that's where she was when unfortunately she died.

"She would be absolutely delighted with the amount of money she has raised and people's lives she's touched."

Dr Bradshaw said she believed Ms Taylor's legacy would live on for years to come and "didn't doubt" an attempt at the Channel swim would be made in her memory.

Geoff Ellis, chief executive at Rainbows Hospice said: "When we learned of this tragic news, everyone at Rainbows was devastated and today is a very sad day.

"As a much loved ambassador, Susan was truly part of the Rainbows family and we are all very proud of her."

Ms Taylor leaves husband Stephen, parents Arthur and Joyce and brother David.

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