Tuesday, 21 November 2017

FIVE swimmers who completed a 50-mile swim in aid of the Chiltern Centre in Henley have been given a tour of the facility.

Jeremy Laming, founder of the Henley Swim events, was joined by Katia Vastiau, Malcolm Burfitt, Mark Plested and Phillip Cater as they swam from Oxford to Henley over three days in July.

They started at Osney Lock and they passed through 15 locks as they swam 80km downstream.

They raised more than £8,000 for the centre for disabled children, which is off Greys Road.

Mr Cater, from Stoke Row, said: “It’s amazing to see these facilities and it makes it all worthwhile. 

“You do a huge event like swimming 50 miles and you’re pushing to get sponsorship but when you see the facilities it becomes clear how important it is to raise money for the activities of the centre. Some of us hadn’t been before and I think we were all keen to understand a little bit more about what the charity does and how our fund-raising has contributed to how it supports families.”

The money may go towards a new sensory room at the centre, which supports 85 families across the Thames Valley and South Oxfordshire.

The swimmers were joined for the visit by Madi Barnicoat, who was a member of their support crew and kayaked alongside the swimmers.

Liz Deacon, community fund-raiser for the charity, said: “The swimmers raised a huge amount of money for the centre voluntarily and had to train immensely hard, so this was our way of saying ‘thank you’.

“It brings it to life seeing children using the centre. The more people that understand about the centre the more chance we have got of raising money.”

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