Lions swim day is set to boost hospice appeal

The annual Lytham St Annes Lions Swimarathon at St Annes YMCA Pool.

The annual Lytham St Annes Lions Swimarathon at St Annes YMCA Pool.

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Get in the swim and help provide a boost for the young patients and their families at Brian House children’s hospice.

That’s the call from Lytham St Annes Lions, who have targeted the hospice, and specifically its family accommodation area, as the recipient of the proceeds of the Lions’ next annual swimarathon event, to be held in January.

The swimarathon celebrated its 30th anniversary last year by attracting a record number of 59 teams – 470 swimmers of all ages 
who raised £11,000 to fund health screenings for young people.

That was the second year that local screenings under the charity CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) had been funded by the Swimarathon and for the two years before that, the Lions raised enough cash from the event to supply life-saving defibrillators machines to local schools.

“We have raised in excess of £50,000 over the last four years and we are so grateful to the swimmers, sponsors and volunteers involved for their support,” said a Lions spokesman.

“Now we are turning our attention to helping Brian House – and we hope the swimmers will again turn out in their numbers to make it another really successful swimarathon.”

The event will be held on Sunday, January 29 and Michelle Lonican, community fundraiser for Brian House, said: “Not many people realise that upstairs at Brian House Children’s Hospice is a self-contained apartment for families to use.

“It’s an important facility – mums and dads can stay there for peace of mind when their child spends his or her first night having respite care at Brian House.

It’s also a vital home from home for families who want to stay close by when their child is approaching the end of life.

“Thanks to the generosity of the local community, in the past 18 months a smart new kitchen has been added, and one of the two bedrooms has recently been completely refurbished.

“It leaves the lounge and one bedroom in need of a facelift: those rooms have not been upgraded since Brian House opened 20 years ago and, though well looked after, they are showing their age.

“The apartment is there for families facing the most difficult – and sometimes the darkest – days of their lives. Modern and more comfortable decoration will help make an unbearable situation just a little better.

“The Lions Swimarathon will make a huge difference and we are absolutely thrilled to have them on board with what is always an enjoyable event for all ages.

“Every length swum will help us provide comfort and care for children and their families on the Fylde Coast.”

Details of the swimarathon and entry forms are available from Joe Woods of the Lions on 07528 483999 or also by email at joewoods206@gmail.com