Record breakers! Swimathon’s £10k ‘will help tremendously’

The Gig Club ladies team

The Gig Club ladies team - Credit: Archant

The Admiral Nurse Campaign will receive another five-figure boost in April after it was revealed participants raised a record-breaking £10,767 in last year’s Swimathon.

The Rotary Club of Sidmouth announced this week that the event was the group’s biggest total to date.

Some 21 teams took to Sidmouth Swimming Pool in October in aid of the £100,000 appeal to bring a specialist dementia nurse to the Sid Valley.

Swimathon organiser Steve Gunnell said that the campaign had ‘captured the imagination’ of the town.

He added: “We normally get between £7,000 and £10,000, depending on who it is for - and that is key to it.

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“The Admiral Nurse Campaign caught everyone’s imagination due to the coverage in the Herald. It is a worthwhile cause and this £10,000 is going to help tremendously.”

Swimmers from Sidmouth Gig Club (the ladies’ team is pictured) raised the most money - netting a staggering £2,218.

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Mr Gunnell added: “We would like to express our thanks to the clubs and organisations, big or small, in making this a record year.”

The Sid Valley Memory Cafe and the Herald are working in partnership to raise £100,000 to cover the cost of an Admiral Nurse for two years. Duncan Watt, chairman of trustees of the memory café, said the donation exceeded the charity’s ‘wildest dreams’. He added: “It is just amazing - a combination of hard work, competitive sportsmanship and a great deal of dedication is an example to us all. Add to this, the extreme generosity of those who have dug deep into their pockets, it is quite humbling.

“It is obviously a great boost to receive such a handsome sum, but this campaign has been about involving the entire Sid Valley community. From a few pennies dropped in one of our yellow collecting tins placed by the tills in sympathetic retailers in town, to major events such as this raising huge sums of money, the Sid Valley is getting close to achieving its goal – our very own Admiral Nurse. I thank everyone involved from the bottom of my heart.”

A cheque will be presented to the memory café next month.

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