Swimathon Proves a Splashing Success

Swimmers raise £7,000 for HAFAD

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The Swimathon 2011, a marathon swimming relay organised by local charity Hammersmith & Fulham Action on Disability (HAFAD) has raised over £7,000.

More than 25 swimmers from across the borough dived in at Fulham Pools, Lillie Road, on Sunday, July 10 and between them swam over 1,650 lengths – the equivalent of 26 miles.

HAFAD has represented the rights of disabled people in the borough for 30 years and after the success of this first Swimathon, hopes to make it an annual event.

James Coke, HAFAD fundraiser says: "We had a fantastic day and everyone who took really enjoyed themselves. By the end of the event we must have swum closer to 29 miles and we have raised a huge amount of money.

"We are currently coming up with new schemes as we try to react positively to cuts in public expenditure as a result of the economic downturn. 98 per cent of our income has come from local government funding which in the present conditions is unsustainable. I am very grateful to everyone that helped."

Particular mention goes to HAFAD members Charlotte Taggart and Nicolas Serila who both swam 100 lengths. Two more members, Bukky Bababunmi and Katie McDevitt swam 40 lengths and one mile respectively and two pupils from the Bridge Academy also took part.

Earlier this year, HAFAD launched a Loyalty Card scheme. The cards is free and available to all of HAFAD's 5,000 clients, including their carers and families.

There was more good news for HAFAD this week, with the council recommending the charity for £40,000 from its voluntary sector grants pot. The council's Cabinet will meet on Monday July 18 to approve the grants, which will share
£1.2 million among 27 local organisitions in the second wave of the council’s £3.9 million grants pot.

James Coke adds: " We are absolutely thrilled to have been recommended for this grant which will help us to continue to work closely with the community. The funding will secure one of our workers and will mean that we can plan rolling out the next stage of our Loyalty Card."

For further details on the loyalty card visit www.hafad.org.uk

July 12, 2011