North Yorkshire Sport and Dementia Forward kick started Dementia Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Week with their ‘Swim the Channel’ event at Harrogate’s Hydro swimming pool on 14 May 2016.
- Represent one person living with dementia in North Yorkshire with every four metres you swim
North Yorkshire Sport, the County Sports Partnership for North Yorkshire and York partnered with Dementia Forward in order to provide more sport or physical activity opportunities for the 8,400 North Yorkshire residents living with dementia. Dementia Forward is a local registered charity providing support and information to anybody affected by dementia. The charity has developed a comprehensive range of services, with people living with dementia at the heart.
Working together, the partnership developed their ‘Swim the Channel’ event which asked participants to contribute towards a 33,600m goal (the length of the English Channel). Every four metres swam represents one person in North Yorkshire living with dementia.
At the event 63 participants swam a total of 50.1 miles (80,628m), passing the 33,600m goal after just 90 minutes of swimming. The contribution to the total distance was astounding. With participant Sophie covering 50 lengths, more than 1000m. Another participant said, “I told the pool I was taking part in the event and they suggested I take improvement lessons so I did. I thought I could only do four lengths but I did 16!”
The event raised awareness about dementia and help to reduce the stigma attached to the condition. It also supported North Yorkshire Sport’s goal to make swimming facilities across the sub-county dementia friendly, providing more opportunities to get active; helping those with dementia to live well.
For more information, please contact Georgie on firstname.lastname@example.org