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Fundraising "Swimathon" wins new friends for the Red Cross in East Yorkshire

Red Cross staff and volunteers joined refugees and asylum seekers from across Hull and the East Riding on 11th September to raise much needed funds for those destitute in the city and to commemorate the Day of the Disappeared.

The challenge was to swim over 500 lengths in under 2 hours, and this target was achieved with just a few minutes to spare!

ITMS Co-ordinator Simon Foster, who came up with the idea to support needy young adults in Hull with gifts of second-hand bicycles, said:
The event was a truly great effort from staff and volunteers, who were privileged to swim alongside our friends who have sought sanctuary in the city, most having fled from countries around the world for fear of persecution. Many have left loved ones behind and may never see them again.

The Swimathon raised over £500, and it is hoped to repeat the challenge next year, including the post-swin picnic where swimmers shared food prepared by refugees from Africa and Iraq.

The swimmers
Simon added
Asylum seekers receiving Section 4 support are given accommodation and vouchers for food, but receive no help with transport, and are not permitted to do paid work. We will be giving bikes to people who would otherwise have to walk over an hour to an appointment, and who can now visit friends, and attend sports events. East Yorkshire is fairly flat, so is ideal for cycling!

An asylum seeker with his new bike, given by the Red Cross in Hull