Making a splash for charity

Hadrian Leisure Centre staff Bob Hynes, Jake Greener, Beth May-Lennox, Ryan Lisle and James Smith.

Hadrian Leisure Centre staff Bob Hynes, Jake Greener, Beth May-Lennox, Ryan Lisle and James Smith.

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Fund-raisers are to make a splash for charity as Dementia Awareness Week draws to a close.

A total of 44 swimmers will take the plunge for a one-mille challenge at Hadrian Leisure Centre, Wallsend, on Saturday.

Proceeds from the Swimathon will go to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Brandy Riches, the centre’s assistant manager, said: “We’re delighted with the response and the fact that we have such a broad age range taking part, including families.

“Alzheimer’s Society is one of Mayor Norma Redfearn’s chosen charities and staff at the leisure centre have undergone Dementia Friends training, so this event is all part of our commitment to making the facility more accessible to people with dementia.

“Participants must swim 64 lengths of the pool, which equals a mile, either individually or as part of a team within one hour.”

There will be two sessions at 3pm and 6pm, with prizes awarded in a number of categories.

Lucy King, Alzheimer’s Society Community Fundraiser for the North East, said: “The swimathon is a fantastic way to raise awareness of our cause during Dementia Awareness Week whist raising much-needed funds into the bargain.

“We’re thrilled to have such dedicated and determined supporters. We rely heavily on the goodwill of fund-raisers, from individuals to large organisation, to fund vital research and support people living with dementia.

“There are around 35,000 in the North East with the condition and some 850,000 across the UK, which is set to rise to more than one million by 2020.

“Our ultimate goal is a world without dementia. That may be a long way off, but with this sort of support we can and will make progress.”