Since the age of 15 years old, Bradshaw has raised many thousands of pounds for charity. The money raised from Channel swim in 1979, began the Fylde Hospice in Blackpool. She serves as a Director on the Board of The Channel Swimming Association where she is also the Assistant Secretary.
Her world records include the first triple-crossing of Loch Ness in 32 hours 34 minutes in 2005, relay double-crossing of the English Channel in 19 hours 7 minutes in 2004, butterfly crossing of the English Channel in 14 hours 18 minutes in 2002, butterfly crossing of 16.8 km (10.5-mile) Windermere in 6 hours 7 minutes in 1991, and a 67.5 km (42-mile) quadruple crossing of Windermere in 21 hours 17 minutes.
Bradshaw’s illustrious swimming career began at the age of 15, when she became the fastest British Junior to swim the English Channel. Her world record collection began in the 1980’s and included a 4-way Windermere solo swim in 23 hours 17 minutes. This continued through the 1990s (her ‘butterfly’ exploits began) and into this decade. In 2002, she achieved her 12th world record with the butterfly solo swim of the English Channel in 14 hours 18 minutes and on 16 July 2011, Bradshaw swam butterfly swim around Manhattan Island in New York in 9 hours 28 minutes. In 2006, she also crossed Lough Erne in Ireland 10½ miles butterfly in hours 41 minutes and a 2-way crossing of Lake Bala (6½ miles) in 5 hours 2 minutes. Earlier in her career, she also did several butterfly swims: in 2000, a 2-way Coniston of 11 miles in 8 hours 42 minutes and 7¼ miles in Ullswater in 4 hours 29 minutes.
Bradshaw is a qualified Teacher and Swimming Teacher and lectures part-time at Loughborough University in the Sport and Exercise Department. She is also a Professional Psychological Therapist/Counsellor, and a Coach and Trainer of NLP, Time Line Therapy and Hypnosis. Bradshaw is a member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and is CRB checked. In her spare time, she is Secretary of the Channel Swimming Association Ltd., where she shares her experience and expertise, enabling swimmers to achieve their dream of swimming the English Channel.
Alongside her swimming, she works part-time as a PE Lecturer at Loughborough University and is a Counsellor with Open Door (Young People’s Service) and a College in Loughborough. She also runs her own successful private Counselling and Therapy service. In addition, she is a Motivational and After Dinner Speaker, traveling the country inspiring others with her talks and stories.
Her reputation had earned her several prestigious Honours. In 2004 she was nominated for the Sunday Times Inspirational Award and in 2006 Bradshaw was awarded an MBE for her ‘Services to Swimming and Charity’ and the same year Loughborough University in recognition of her outstanding achievements conferred upon her an Honorary Doctorate. And 2007, saw Julie recognized further with a place in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, USA.
Bradshaw continues to excel in sport and this excellence extends into all other areas of her life. She gains great pleasure out of helping children, students, adults and athletes, watching them transform their lives and maximizing their potential.
Taupo x 3 Relay
Bradshaw was a member of the Taupo x 3 relay, a three-way crossing of Lake Taupo by a 6-person male team and a 6-person female team of experienced open water swimmers in January 2009. The Taupo x 3 relay teams set a world lake swimming record by completing a 126 km (78.2 miles) triple-crossing of Lake Taupo, the largest lake in New Zealand under organisers Chris Palfrey, Penny Palfrey, and Julie Bradshaw. The swim started at 5:33 am on 5 January 2009.
The men's relay team finished in 33 hours 31 minutes 15 seconds and included Steve Junk (Australia), Mark Cockroft (New Zealand), Dougal Hunt (Australia), Chris Palfrey (Australia), and Stephen Spence (Australia) with New Zealand legend Philip Rush as the escort pilot. The women’s relay team finished in 33 hours 33 minutes 45 seconds and included Julie Bradshaw (England), Michelle Macy (USA), Barbara Pellick (Australia), Penny Palfrey (Australia), Lucy Roper (England), and Heather Osborn (New Zealand).
The plan was to start at first light from near Tokaanu, at the southern most point of the lake, heading roughly north east past Motutaiko Island, cutting close to Rangitiri point, before finishing on the beach in front of the Waikato River. The distance by GPS for one lap was 40.2 km. The second lap retraced the course back to the starting point and the final lap was a repeat of the first.
The men finished the first leg of 40.2 km in a time of 10 hours 22 minutes; the women finished in 10 hours 28 minutes. The men finished the second leg of 40.2 km in 12 hours 15 minutes; the women finished in 12 hours 19 minutes. The men finished the third leg of 40.2 km in 10 hours 54 minutes; the women finished in 10 hours 53 minutes. Both teams broke the world relay record set in December 2008 by 2 teams of 50 swimmers, each doing 2 km, who covered 100 km in 37 hours 6 minutes.