Can you make a splash and turn the tide for some of Derbyshire’s most vulnerable people?

Chesterfield Volunteer Centre is fighting loneliness this summer, with a massive sponsored swim: ‘The Swim Against Loneliness.

Loneliness can affect anyone but elderly people are particularly susceptible, and it is a significant risk factor for mental and physical health problems. Thousands benefit each year from the Elderfriends service, a befriending programme which reaches out to the lonely and socially isolated. In fact, the service proved particularly crucial during lockdown. It is run purely by volunteers but like many charities, it is now struggling for funds.

We now need to raise the £30,000 to keep Elderfriends running for the next year. Some local businesses have already signed up, along with 1,500 schoolchildren.  As well as this website, we are running a Just Giving page.

The `Swim Against Loneliness’ event will be staged over eight days from 1st to the 9th July 2020 at various pools, including Queen’s Park Leisure Centre, and the project is backed by Chesterfield Town Council.

To add a little twist, there will be specific challenges. For example you can `Conquer Everest’, or `Escape from Alcatraz’.  Each challenge is measured in miles (and therefore lengths of the pool). Escaping from Alcatraz takes a mere two miles (128 lengths), while `swimming’ Mount Everest is the equivalent to 354 lengths.

Or maybe you’ll tackle the 46miles of the Chesterfield Canal?

But you can also make up your own challenges, or simply swim as far as you can, in one go, or over a number of days. There’s no limit to the number of swimmers, so what are you waiting for?

Click the button below, get swimming and we can tackle loneliness together.

The bigger distances could be a challenge for the whole team to complete but participants can also make up their own challenges, or just swim as far as they feel able. You can book your swim in one block, or stagger it over a number of days.

Loneliness can affect anyone but elderly people are particularly susceptible and it is a significant risk factor for a wide range of mental and physical health problems. Thousands benefit each year from Elderfriends and the service proved particularly crucial during lockdown. It is run purely by volunteers but like many charities, we are now struggling with funds post-pandemic.