Swim4Life - The Bann and Beyond participants’ efforts are recognised

LOCAL charity fundraisers, Marie Curie BanD have announced the total raised and the distance travelled in their annual ‘Swim4Life - The Bann and Beyond’ fundraiser.

The announcement was made at a ceremony at the Civic Building in Banbridge by the group’s Chairperson, Siobhan Keegan, assisted by Council Chairman, Councillor Junior McCrum.

The River Bann is 129km long and is the longest river in Northern Ireland. That’s equivalent to 5,160 lengths of Banbridge Leisure Centre’s swimming pool. Every year BanD ask the public to dive in and see how far along the River Bann participants could get as a team, as well as asking them to raise some sponsor money for Marie Curie Cancer Care too.

This year, the fundraiser’s fourth, they came close to fufilling the challenge as they swam 114.51kms or 4,580.5 lengths of the pool, covering 88.77% of the River Bann and aising £1,886.30.

Despite not achieving their ultimate goal the fundraising has contributed to Marie Curie’s coffers. The charity provides high quality care, free of charge, to those terminally ill with cancer and other illnesses. It costs the charity £20 for one hour of a nurses time.

Two thirds of cancer patients wish to spend their last days at home in comfortable and familiar surroundings. But current provision only covers approx 20%. Marie Curie believes everyone should be able to die in the place of their choice and is campaigning for this.

In-patients are also cared for at the Marie Curie Hospice, Belfast where patients also attend Hospice Day Therapy on an out-patient basis three days a week. Two further sessions take place at Downpatrick and Lisburn hospitals.

There was a fantastic turn out on the day Both the Public and BLC Staff and our volunteers were absolutely amazing. We are delighted to announce that the totals achieved are:

Awards were presented to Patricia Reid, who brought by far the biggest group of people together from across the community - including the POSY club - on the day and raised a tremendous amount of money well over £500 for Marie Curie. A true team player, Patricia said, “I would especially like to thank all my family, neighbours and friends from the Fit and Well Programme, the POSY Club, St Therese’s Ladies Discussion Group, Tesco’s and all the other local businesses that supported us this year.”

Claire Hanna impressed the group with her stamina as she just kept on going and completed an exhausting 300 lengths of the pool = 7.5kms, the greatest distance of the day.

Finally the Cully family, Gillian, Keith, Anna, Jack and Amy, were rewarded as they made a real team effort, swimming a significant combined distance of 90 lengths and raising £189.

Siobhan said, “Inspiring as these efforts were, there were so many amazing stories on the day; we wish we could reward everyone that had a part to play and hope that people will be willing to join our team as we Swim4Life again next year. Every half length was just as important and just as appreciated, as was all the behind-the-scenes support. It’s truly amazing what we can do when we all work together!

“We (BanD) are thrilled by this result and can’t wait until next year to see just how far along the River Bann we can get. We hope that the public will be willing to join in ‘Swim4Life 2013 – The Bann & Beyond’ on Friday August 30 2013.”

‘Marie Curie BanD’ would like to thank the following for their assistance: Banbridge Leisure Centre, Banbridge District Council, The Windsor Bakery who donated a fabulous cake which will be shared with the residents of Crozier House; Iveagh Movie Studios; Donaghys Shoes, Banbridge; the Recreation Development Department in Craigavon Borough Council and most importantly the public.

You can find and ‘like’ the group on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarieCurieBanD