DEVIZES mayor Pete Smith raised smiles when he donned appropriate headgear to blow the whistle to start this year’s Swimathon organised by the Lions Club of Devizes.

The result was particularly successful this year as 25 teams, more than the usual number, took part, each one supporting its own good cause.

Coun Smith said: “I think it is amazing that so many people turn up to take part in this event year after year, raising so much money for their charities.

“I always like to enter the spirit of the occasion, so putting on a swimming hat seemed like the right thing to do.”

The swimmers ranged in age from five to 88 and included Scouting and Guiding groups, sports clubs and social groups.

Lion Michael Fitzpatrick, who organised the event, said he was was well pleased with the result.

He said: “In particular I would like to congratulate the team of three ladies who had been sponsored £1,250 for Alzheimer’s Support, contributing greatly towards the total of £7,000 raised in the evening.”