Swimmers dive into charity challenge

A swimming club from Burnley is hosting a sponsored swim to raise funds for a local hospice.

Pendleside Hospice deliver specialist palliative care to those with life-limiting illnesses in Burnley and beyond.

Furthermore, they offer services to families of those in care, such as counselling and therapy.

Danielle Cook, a voluntary events coordinator for the club, says the theme of the fundraising swim is based around the hospice’s 35-year anniversary.

A testimonial of Pendleside Hospice from Catherine Turner whose husband used their services before passing away in 2021.

“The younger swimmers are going to do 875m which is 35 lengths, and one of the older ones are going to do 3,500m,” she said.

“Our regional national level swimmers are looking at doing 35km later in the year. We’ve said we need a minimum of £25-per-swimmer to cover the pool hire costs and give a bit of money to the charity.

“The target was £1,500, and we’ve totally smashed that. This morning [Friday 10 March], it’s £3,200 just on the JustGiving page, and that’s before collecting the whole of the sponsorship. Realistically, we could probably hit £4,000.”

The fundraising event has been spread far and wide on social media.

Cook, 37, lost her mum to cancer during the COVID pandemic, and while she was unable to benefit from the hospice’s services, she’s well aware of what Pendleside can offer to the community.

“They appreciate any extra money they can get. I know they do holistic care, therapy sessions, they support children in the community as well,” she added.

“They do a lot for the community. The children understand what the hospice is all about, because it’s everywhere in Burnley.

“My mum used them many years ago for the therapies, like knitting and chatting. She enjoyed the massage sessions; they do a spa as well.

“I’ve pointed people in the direction for support for children. A couple of people I know who are going through treatment have young children the same age as my daughter, and I’ve told them to contact the hospice for the counselling sessions.”

Burnley Bobcats prepare for the fundraising swim.

Set up more than 25 years ago, Burnley Bobcats are run entirely by volunteers and rely on funding themselves to stay afloat, which is why half of Friday’s fundraising total will go toward the swimming club.

Cook continued: “We’re going to split the money raised between Bobcats and Pendleside, just to reward the swimmers with some new trophies.

“We’re trying to do an end-of-season BBQ in the summer as well, so just little things like that which aren’t funded elsewhere.”

You can donate to the Burnley Bobcats fundraising swim by clicking here.