Helen King, the Principal of St Anne’s College, has swum 5 kilometres in Queenford Lake to raise money for the College’s COVID-19 support fund.

The swim, as well as being a sponsorship opportunity, was also part of the Queenford Challenge, set up by the Oxfordshire Queenford Lakes, a nearby open water swimming facility.

In a statement publicising the Covid-19 fund, Helen King said: “We are all facing an unprecedented challenge as individuals, a nation, a University and a College. At St Anne’s we are doing all we can to help our students through this incredibly difficult time. Your support will help our students and those in the greatest need.”

St Anne’s has also taken its largest ever cohort of state-educated students, 75%, as well as taking a first-year intake which is 12% larger than usual.

On 6 September 2020, Helen King embarked on her swim, completing the journey in a speedy 1 hour and 49 minutes.

In a series of tweets, she thanked donors for their support, saying that she was “glad to report I’m back on dry land”, continuing that donations would provide “additional teaching, accommodation & welfare support”.

King has been Principal of St Anne’s since April 2017. She was previously an Assistant Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police Service and originally studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at St Anne’s College.

After the event, the Queenford Lakes team praised the “amazing” response to the challenge and reminded swimmers that “there are more of those amazing sunrises and sunsets to come still” over the lake.