Skip to main content

Total raised so far


£1,401,726.93 of £1,100,000 target +£193,802.99 Gift Aid See breakdown

Recent donations

21 hours ago

Simon Watson


+ £2.50 Gift Aid

21 hours ago

Linda Fowden


+ £5.00 Gift Aid

2 days ago

Tina Riley


So well done Graham and team and big hugs Isla Xxxx

3 days ago

Sue Burns


+ £2.50 Gift Aid

So glad to be able to help to highlight the support needed for this desperately painful condition

5 days ago



+ £2.50 Gift Aid

Good luck to the whole team! Just watched Isla on the news and was deeply touched by her disease and incredible strength and courage. I didn’t know about EB but I do now.

6 days ago

Paul Toman


Keep up the good work Graham

6 days ago



This is such an important cause to help fund anyone living with this dreadful skin condition.

1 week ago



1 week ago



1 week ago

Paul Wardle


Good luck with the swim, chaps. And all the best for finding a cure.

Graeme Souness swimming the English Channel for DEBRA

Event date: 18th June 2023

Graeme Souness is raising money for DEBRA

Share this page with your friends:

My story

Football legend, and TV pundit, Graeme Souness, is playing his part to stop the pain of EB this summer by swimming the English Channel!

Graeme, who has faced many a foe during his sporting career, will be taking on the formidable 21-mile stretch of water that lies between Dover and Calais. Although Graeme won’t be on his own (he’ll be part of a 6-person team), he’ll still need all his physical and mental strength and the support of as many people back home as possible to get him to the shores of France, in a swim that could take up to 16 hours!

The motivation for Graeme to do the swim and play his part is personal. Graeme’s good friend is Isla Grist, 14, who is living with recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, Graeme explains more:

“From the time I have spent with Isla and her family, I have seen first-hand the extreme pain this devastating condition causes and the daily challenges it creates.

I wanted to do something that could make a difference to Isla’s life and to the lives of so many others living with EB, and the slightly crazy idea of swimming the English Channel was suggested. Now I’m not one to walk away from a challenge, but this is all new to me; despite living by the sea for the past 16 years, I’ve never been in it, and so this will certainly be the most difficult challenge I’ve ever taken on. I am determined to complete the swim, though. Alongside Isla’s dad, Andy, and the rest of the team, we will complete the challenge and in doing so raise awareness of EB and support to find the treatments that are so desperately needed.

Please join me in supporting DEBRA’s A Life Free of Pain appeal. You don’t have to join me in swimming the channel, but just one small action from you could be a game-changer for people like Isla, living with EB.

For most of my playing career I wore no.11, and I now want to raise £1.1m for DEBRA, every pound raised will get us one step closer to stopping the pain of EB.

You can sponsor me or create your own fundraising challenge through Give as you Live, whether that’s a sporting challenge, a bake-off, or a sponsored knit, every donation received helps DEBRA research future treatments that could transform the lives of thousands of people who currently have to live with this awful condition.

Please play your part. Thank you”.

Thank you for checking out my page. Making a donation is fast, easy and secure thanks to Give as you Live Donate. They'll take your donation and pass it onto DEBRA.

My updates

10 months ago

They did it!

On the morning of Sunday 18th June, Graeme, Andy, and the DEBRA swim team made it to the shores of France and completed their English Channel swim in a speedy 12 hours and 17 minutes!

Not only did they complete the swim quicker than expected, but they also swam further than expected, doing 30 miles in total due to the changes of direction required to avoid the 'lumpy stuff'!

The swim, which started at 10pm on the Saturday night, and included a good stint in the dark and a couple of close encounters with jellyfish(!), has helped raise much needed awareness of EB. It has also raised vital funding which will help accelerate DEBRA’s research into future drug treatments for EB.

The swim may be complete but the work to stop the pain of EB goes on, Graeme explains more:

“When I came across the disease, EB, it was the worst thing I’ve ever come across in my life. We must find a way to find effective treatments and ultimately cures which will make life easier for the people living with this condition. It’s the cruellest, nastiest thing I’ve ever witnessed in my life, and I wanted to be a part of a fight to help these poor kids. It’s been 9 months and we’ve all worked hard, we did it, we swam the English Channel, but the fight to beat EB goes on until we get the treatments that will help stop the pain. Please continue to support DEBRA so that we can beat this cruel disease”.

On behalf of Graeme, Andy, and the DEBRA swim team, and the entire EB community, thank you.

The fight to beat EB must continue though. DEBRA’s A Life Free of Pain appeal needs to raise £5m by the end of 2023 to clinically test up to 20 drugs which could radically improve quality of life for people living with EB. With the support received through the English Channel swim challenge we are a step closer, but we need your continued support to stop the pain of EB.

Thank you from everyone at TeamDEBRA.

10 months ago

It was another early start on the beach in Dorset for #TeamDEBRA (minus Andy!), getting in the last of their training for their English Channel swim.

There's not long to go now! If one thing is spurring them on, it's the incredible support received so far. Thank you for donating, your messages of support and continuing to spread the word about Graeme and Isla's story.

10 months ago

A thank-you message from Isla and her family.

Graeme Souness is fundraising for


Charity number: 1084958

Graeme Souness is fundraising as part of

A Life Free of Pain

More great ways you can raise funds

I've smashed my £1,100,000 target - help me raise more

Your donations will help the great work DEBRA do.

Donate now