Floods of swimmers sign up for open water swim fundraiser – League of Friends

Posted on 31 August 2021

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Final preparations are underway for The League of Friends to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) as they gear up for this summer’s highly anticipated open water swim fundraiser, the Mere Mile.

The event, which is held in conjunction with Swimfinity, who offer coached open water swimming sessions for individuals and groups at the Mere, is taking place on August 30 – a Bank Holiday Monday – at the Mere, Ellesmere.

The day will see up to 200 swimmers take on the challenge of a 1 mile or 2.5 mile open water swim for the benefit of RJAH – with many swimmers having pledged to carry out additional fundraising.

Ian Sawers, who is a Trustee for the hospital Friends has challenged himself to the 1 mile swim. He said: “The aim of the event is to raise money so that the charity can continue to do wonderful things to support staff and orthopaedic patients at RJAH, including former servicemen whose hips and knees are giving up.

“The League of Friends has purchased specialist equipment for the surgical teams, provided canal trips for spinal patients, contributed the lion’s share to the construction of the fourth Horatio’s Garden in the UK, as well as running a Coffee Shop, Shop and Post Office – so, all-round jolly good chaps and chapesses!

“This year I shall be partaking in the challenge in the flesh by swimming the mile without stopping – one can always be a spectator but it takes a little bit of extra effort to be a participant.”

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, said: “We couldn’t be more grateful to our intrepid swimmers, our partners at Swimfinity and all the volunteers, ashore and in kayaks, helping to keep swimmer safe on the day.

Thanks to local businesses and the Ellesmere community for rallying round this event, helping to add to our swimmers gift bags, particularly ‘Stans Superstore’ who have funded water bottles for all.

Huge thanks too to our event sponsors ‘Shropshire Pools and Spas Ltd’ who have not only helped to fund the event but sourced goody bags for our volunteers.

We raised almost £10,000 last year and hope to do so again this year too, raising vital funds for our much loved hospital.”

Tracy Roberts, Shropshire Pools and Spas Ltd Managing Director, said ‘We are thrilled to be involved with this event as keen supporters of RJAH.  It has been difficult for charities over the last year and a half so anything we can do to give this event a boost we are more than happy to help.  Our supplier ‘Complete Pool Controls’ have generously given the goody bags so really a team effort!’

To support the event and sponsor a swimmer please visit:


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