District Councillor aims to raise £2000 in swimming challenge to help and highlight awareness of families charity

District Councillor swims equivalent of the Channel to raise money for Royston and South Cambs famil

District Councillor swims equivalent of the Channel to raise money for Royston and South Cambs families charity. Picture: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/philippahart1 - Credit: Archant

A Liberal Democrat councillor is on a mission to swim the equivalent of the English Channel to raise funds for family support charity Home-Start’s Royston and South Cambridgeshire branch.

Philippa Hart, the district councillor for Meldreth and Shepreth, has set her sights on the 21-mile swimming challenge – even though she confesses to being “the world’s slowest swimmer”.

Phillipa started her fundraising effort on Sunday, and will be completing 85 lengths of the 20m Melbourn Sports Centre pool – totalling one mile – on each visit, with the aim of reaching her target by March 3.

Her commitment to raise money for Home-Start, one of the leading family aid organisations in the UK, has been prompted by the decision in October to close children’s centres throughout South Cambridgeshire – including Melbourn’s being replaced with a ‘child and family zone’.

“As I am in a public service position as a councillor, I am very well placed to bring attention to this important charity which is now very relevant to the streamlining of children’s services,” Phillipa told the Crow.

“I attended their AGM and was completely inspired, everything fell into place and I thought I would give it a go.

“I absolutely detested swimming before, but I am now in the routine of completing several miles a week. I am the world’s slowest swimmer but I have now got my waist back after having four children!”

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Philippa, who will be mainly swimming her one-mile efforts with the support of the sports centre-based McSplash Swim Club, added: “I aim to complete the challenge by March 3, 2018, and I have set a rather large target of £2,000 which is quite ambitious, but why not, I decided to aim high.

“The Aquathon is to start in March sometime and I thought it was timely for me to finish the challenge before then.”

Home-Start volunteers provide support for 60,000 children and 30,000 families all over the country, with 95 per cent of families feeling their children’s emotional and physical health and wellbeing have improved with the charity’s support.

Visit mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/philippahart1 to donate to the cause and www.hsrsc.org.uk for more details on the charity.