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Guildford Homeless Charity’s Swim in Memory of Lost Lives

Published on: 28 Aug, 2012
Updated on: 28 Aug, 2012

Charity swimmers took an early morning plunge at Guildford Lido, operated by Freedom Leisure, on Thursday, August 23, to raise funds and awareness for Guildford’s homeless community.

Pictured with the Mayor of Guildford, Jennifer Jordan, and Lido staff, are some of those who took part in the swim organised by Guildford Action.

The group’s initial aim was to swim the length of the English Channel, which would be 676 lengths. But on the morning, 56 swimmers gathered to smash that target and cover 1,801 lengths – equivalent to crossing the English Channel more than twice.

Swimmers were drawn from across the town and were aged seven to 80. Several homeless people took to the water to swim in memory of David Lucid and others who had lost their lives in Guildford recently.

Freedom Leisure season tickets holders and members at the Lido and Spectrum also dived in to help the cause.

The Mayor of Guildford, Jennifer Jordan, went along to offer her support and was joined by many other well-wishers who turned up to cheer the effort.

“The event went amazingly well and we were blessed with fine weather for the early morning swimmers,” said Angie Doyle, centre manager at Guildford Lido. “It was a joy to see so many people just turn up and take part. Some swam just one length: others swam close to 100.”

Steve May, Freedom Leisure’s area manager for the Guildford region, added: “There was a great sense of community spirit and I’m proud to have taken part as one of the swimmers. We were only too pleased to help by providing the Lido facilities: it was a great event to host.”

The money raised will go to the Guildford Action charity, several of whose employees swam and supported the event. Joanne Tester, chief executive at Guildford Action, said: “The plight of homeless people in Guildford has been headline news for a few weeks now and we were delighted to see people from this community take the initiative to do something positive to raise awareness and funds. The aim is to raise £500 and to put some of this money into buying a bench for our memorial garden.

Funds raised are approaching £300, so more donations are being asked to support the huge effort made by so many local swimmers.  To donate online or via cheque visit

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