Five charities that support young islanders with their mental and physical wellbeing will be getting a funding boost thanks to the efforts of the intrepid swimmers taking to the pool next March in the annual Swimarathon.
The Lions Swimarathon has chosen to support Brighter Futures, Brightly, the Jersey Youth Trust, the Teenage Cancer Trust and YouMatter in 2020 as each one fulfils the Lions' theme of "enabling teenagers to thrive."
Since the first event, held at Fort Regent in 1972, the Swimarathon has raised more than £3.5 million. In the last decade alone, it has benefited more than 120 local charities.
This year, more than 4,000 swimmers took part covering a total of 27,000 laps and raising £110,000 in the process.The event's chosen charities - Brighter Futures, Caring Cooks, Milli’s Separated Family Centre, Mind Jersey, and Silkworth Lodge - each received £10,000 each with up to £50,000 going to community service activities in the island.
Named by the swimmers for the 'People's Choice' award, the Neil Hussey Heart Charity, created in January 2018 by Neil's widow Blanca Palacin with the aim of providing free heart screenings to detect undiagnosed heart conditions in adults and school children, also received £10,000.
The donations each charity receives depend on the generosity of the event’s supporters and the sponsorship generated by the teams participating. The Lions said they are confident each organisation will receive up to £10,000 for their funds in 2020.
Pictured: Lion Mark Godel, Jersey Lions’ President.
“These days teenagers probably face more challenges than they have ever done,” Lion Mark Godel, Jersey Lions’ President, said. “Therefore, we felt it very appropriate that we should support those charities who themselves enable teenagers to thrive in so many different ways.
"We are also delighted that with the support of our new sponsors Ravenscroft we will be even better placed to benefit a vitally important sector of the community.”
The 2020 Swimarathon will take place from Wednesday 11 to Sunday 15 March at Les Quennevais Pool. After stepping as a last-minute sponsor for the 2019 edition, Ravenscroft will once again be supporting the event. They have also pledged to continue to do so through the Swimarathon's 50th year in 2022.
"We were so impressed by the dedication of the Lions and the commitment of all the swimmers that we didn’t hesitate to extend our support," Haydn Taylor, Ravenscroft’s Managing Director, said.
"Plans for 2020 are well underway and given the large number of young people who take part each year, it’s fantastic that next year’s beneficiaries are dedicated to supporting them, particularly during difficult times. The future success of Jersey depends on today’s young people and these chosen charities, who are focused on physical and mental wellbeing, are doing extraordinary work."
Video: 4,000 swimmers took to the water in March 2019 covering a total of 27,000 laps.
Up to 480 teams will be able to take part and all past participants are being contacted. Keen swimmers are invited to contact the Swimarathon Administrator to sign up.
"We hope as many islanders as possible will get involved in the Lions Swimarathon, whether as a swimmer or a sponsor, so that we can make the 2020 event the most successful yet," Mr Taylor said.
Pictured: Brighter Futures supports parents, carers, children and young people.
Based at Le Bridge on Le Geyt Road, Brighter Futures supports parents, carers, children and young people. They offer a range of personal development, educational and second chance learning programmes, as well as group sessions, one-to-one emotional support, information, advice and practical help to assist parents and carers with self-esteem, confidence and communication skills.
Pictured: From left, Wendy Nerac, Fundraiser, Steve Harvey, Chief Executive, and Allison Le Blancq, Coordinator.
Formerly known as Brightly focuses on supporting children and young people who are living are have lived in care, or who are experiencing adversity. This includes financial or material help for care leavers, so they can take driving lessons, attend doctor's appointments or follow educational courses, among other things. Brightly also helps them with gym membership, purchasing work clothing or educational items, including computers or cameras.
They also support the children of care leavers and provide grants for care leavers up to the age of 25 who are setting up in their first home.
Pictured: Inside the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) centre at Eagle House.
The Jersey Youth Trust provides information, advice and support to young people aged 14 to 25 through the Youth Enquiry Service (YES) and the 1:2:1 Youth Counselling project, which are both based at The Link inside Eagle House at La Colomberie.
Pictured: The Teenage Cancer Trust Unit opened at Southampton General Hospital in 2013. (Teenage Cancer Trust)
The Teenage Cancer Trust Jersey Appeal was created and 10 years by Calvin Haycock and his mum, Irene. Diagnosed with leukaemia at the age of 14, Calvin had to be treated alongside babies as there were no resources for teenagers.
After hearing of the Teenage Cancer Trust, which is dedicated to create "world-class cancer services" for young people in the UK, providing life-changing care and support, through his nurses, Calvin and his mum were inspired to launch a Jersey appeal for the charity. They brought the charity over to Jersey in 2008 and started a committee with the help of nurses from the Hospital's Robin Ward.
Since then, the charity has raised £1.5 million, helping build the Teenage Cancer Trust Unit at Southampton General Hospital which opened in 2013. It is opened to 16 to 24 year olds and has six in-patient beds and day care facilities.
Formerly known as 'Love Matters', YouMatter works with young people to build their self-esteem and develop an understanding of their true value and worth.
The charity runs workshops with thousands of young people in Jersey every year to inspire them to make healthy and positive choices about their lives and relationships.
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