Hospice volunteers set to make a splash for cash this weekend

Volunteers big swim for Garden house hospice care

L-R: Kate Albon, Carol Le Grand, Emma McConnell and Gemma Morrison - Credit: Garden House Hospice Care

A group of volunteers are among those taking the splash for cash and helping to support Garden House Hospice Care in a new charity swim this weekend.

Carol Le Grand, Emma McConnell, Gemma Morrison and Kate Albon are joining forces to swim the 5,000-metre team relay at The Big Swim at Letchworth Outdoor Pool on Saturday.

Three of the team - Carol, Emma and Gemma - are all members of the Friends of Garden House Hospice Care (FOGHH) community group, which stages and attends events to raise funds for the hospice.

Carol said: “I am swimming in memory of my son, Brett Sherwood, who died from a brain tumour seven years ago, aged 41, having received hospice care.

"When I was young I swam for Stevenage and Hertfordshire and became a swimming teacher in later life. I still swim now, three times a week at Stevenage swimming pool.

“After volunteering for Garden House I was asked three years ago to join FOGHH and at a recent meeting mentioned I would like to have swam the individual 5,000m distance.

"However, having recently had a shoulder operation, I didn’t think it was a good idea. Instead I found three swimmers to join me for the 5,000m team relay.”

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Emma McConnell added: “It is the small local hospices that fill a much-needed gap in services. They make such an impact on patients and their families and have a brilliant reputation within the community.

The team’s youngest member, 16-year-old Kate Albion, attends Letchworth Swimming Club.

She added: “My whole family supports the hospice and when my grandad told me about the swim I volunteered to be on the team. I have never swum for a cause before and I am so excited to be taking part. I am counting down the days!"

You can sponsor the team at justgiving.com/fundraising/carol-le-grand1.

Event manager at the hospice, Jake Amos, said: “The Big Swim is our brand new grand water adventure and has appealed to the many enthusiastic swimmers of all ages we know that live across North Herts.

“The feeling of swimming in the great outdoors is unlike anything else and this event will also provide plenty of entertainment and encouragement for all swimmers.

"The Big Swim also give keen swimmers the opportunity to take on a distance swim, whether it’s a mile, 5km or the fabled marathon swim distance of 10km, individually or as a team.

“Every penny raised and every swimming stroke made really does help us provide support to local families in need of our care. Please spread the word with your family, friends and colleagues and join us for this community event."

The different distances to enjoy in The Big Swim are:

THE PUPS

  • · 400m swim (8 years+)
  • · Start time 10am
  • · £5 registration
  • THE SAILFISH
  • · 1 mile challenge (8+)
  • · Start time 9am
  • · £10 registration

THE DOLPHIN

  • · 5km solo (11+)
  • · Start time 8am
  • · £20 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirt

THE MAKO

  • · 10km marathon swim solo (18+)
  • · Start time 7am
  • · £20 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirt

THE POD

  • · 5km Team swim of 4 (8+)
  • · Start time 8am
  • · £60 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirts

THE SHIVER

  • · 10km Team swim of 4 (11+)
  • · Start time 7am
  • · £60 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirts

THE MAKO

  • · 10km marathon swim solo (18+)
  • · Start time 7am
  • · £20 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirt

THE POD

  • · 5km Team swim of 4 (8+)
  • · Start time 8am
  • · £60 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirts

THE SHIVER

  • · 10km Team swim of 4 (11+)
  • · Start time 7am
  • · £60 registration
  • · Free Hospice T-shirts

For further information or to sign up, click here or call 01462 679540 option 3. You can also register on the day at Letchworth Outdoor Pool.

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