Swimming gala returns to raise money for hospice care

A fun swimming gala will take place in September to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.

The event takes place at Pershore Leisure Centre three times a year; June’s event raised £260 for the hospice.

Set for Saturday 15 September, the gala regularly attracts up to 50 swimmers.

Chris Gooderham, Organiser, explained: ‘We launched our first gala in 2015 with the aim of making them the swimming equivalent of Parkrun. They are fun non-competitive races for all ages and all abilities. Simple to enter, participants tell us their expected times and we put them against swimmers of the same ability. There are no age restrictions and we encourage families to enter and swim the family relay. All races are timed and times recorded; the quickest time is held on record – for swimmers to beat in the next gala!’

Each gala typically raises around £250.

The leisure centre gives the organisers a discounted rate for pool hire, resulting in the event being able to raise more funds for the hospice.

Chris is a keen supporter of the hospice and this was the reason behind the event raising funds for its care. Chris has taken part in a number of St Richard’s events in the past including bike challenges helping to raise funds for the charity.

He concluded: ‘St Richard’s is a very worthy cause and we are delighted to be associated with it. We all know somebody who has been supported by the hospice and for that reason we want to raise as much money as we can.’

Claire James, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice said: “We are so grateful to Chris and his team for choosing to support us in this way. It should be a fabulous fun event and we look forward to cheering on the swimmers on the night. Good luck to all those taking part!’

For further information and to enter please visit www.funswimgala.co.uk

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative and end of life care for patients living with life-limiting illnesses and supports their loved ones. Each year the hospice team supports more than 3,300 patients, family members and bereaved people in Worcestershire.

The hospice strives to provide the best medical, practical, emotional and social support they can to help people live life to the fullest, as independently as they can, for as long as they can. They care for people with a range of illnesses including heart failure, Parkinson’s, and motor neurone disease as well as cancer.

St Richard’s is an independent charity and relies on donations for three quarters of its annual £8.8m income with the remainder from the NHS.

St Richard’s has launched the Build 2020 Appeal which aims to raise the final £1.4m needed to build a bigger hospice, enabling more patients and families to be cared for in Worcestershire. The total cost for expanding and redeveloping the existing building in Wildwood Drive, Worcester, is £5.3m.

For more information about St Richard’s Hospice visit www.strichards.org.uk