More than 1,000 children have completed a sponsored swim to raise money for Portsmouth-based charity The Elizabeth Foundation.
Southern Swim Schools, the largest provider of swimming lessons to children in the Portsmouth area, has just finished a week-long fundraising drive, which saw all 1,200 of their swimmers take part.
Lynn Goring-Crook, partner at the swim school, said: ‘In this, our 45th year, we wanted to do something special and different to celebrate and therefore every child across the swim school took part in a sponsored swim.
‘We wanted to raise a fantastic amount and also challenge our swimmers to swim further than they have before.’
Just over £6,000 has been raised so far by the swimmers. To add to this amount raised, local company Basepoint Waterlooville will be matching the donations up to £2,500.
All of the money raised will help The Elizabeth Foundation’s work with 80 deaf babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers who attend their family centre to learn how to listen and speak.
Lynn added: ‘I am so pleased that we all raised such an amazing amount and it will go to such a worthy cause.
‘I never ever envisaged as a 16-year-old doing my work experience at The Elizabeth Foundation, that one day that would lead to this and I am really happy that we have been able to help facilitate the money being raised.
‘It also has been fantastic to see the response by the parents and children. They really did get behind it and enjoy themselves in the process.’
Jane Meechan, head of fundraising, said: ‘It has been such an inspirational and rewarding experience hearing about the children’s swimming and their personal stories in raising so much money for The Elizabeth Foundation.
‘£6,000 is a huge amount and we are thrilled that this money raised by local families will support other families learning to live with the diagnosis of deafness for their child. Thank you to all involved in such an amazing swimathon.’