St. Margaret’s Hospice
The Soroptimist Swimathon was started 30 years ago in 1988 to support the Hospice when it was just opening. Members of Soroptimist international Taunton wanted to try and raise enough money to pay for a nurse at the Hospice for a year, which then cost £12,000. They decided to do this by organising a Swimathon – quite a mammoth task in the days before computers! However the Swimathon was very successful and the money was raised so it was decided to hold a Swimathon again the following year.
Taunton Soroptimists have kept doing this year on year, raising money for the Hospice and 75 other local charities since 1988. In 2018 the Swimathon again supported the Hospice. It currently costs over £43,000 to fund a specialist Hospice Community Nurse for a year and the money the Hospice received from the 30th Swimathon was used towards the cost of funding a specialist nurse during 2018.
Foodbank Development Project
Taunton Foodbank outgrew its original premises due to increased demand for its services and planned to take over the entire warehouse that it rented part of. The money the Foodbank received from the Swimathon was used to help fund the alterations needed to the building. The Foodbank will then have not only have much needed extra space to store food, but also extra space to be to be able to provide a wider range of services to its recipients, such as a benefit advice service.
Mind in Taunton and West Somerset
Our local Mind charity provides mental health support services in Somerset. Their objectives are to promote good mental health, to encourage greater understanding of mental health issues, to provide high quality support and to enable genuine service user/survivor involvement and consultation in the development of all mental health services. The money Mind received from the Swimathon was used towards the £22,000 cost of funding an Information Guidance worker.
Note: this year the sponsorship money was divided as follows: 50% to St. Margaret’s Somerset Hospice and 25% each to Taunton Foodbank Project and Mind in Taunton and West Somerset.