SWIMMERS hit the fast lane for thousands of terminally ill patients in Swindon and raised nearly £3,700 for Prospect Hospice.

Eight teams joined the Rotary Club of Swindon North’s second annual swimathon, which saw them cover as many lengths as possible relay-style in 55 minutes at Next Generation in Kembrey Park at the end of April.

The group yesterday presented the Wroughton charity with a cheque for £3,676 – more than £1,000 over their initial target.

Challengers were all asked to collect funds for Prospect and another charity of their choice, to be split 50/50 between the two. Yet most opted to give all their sponsorship to the hospice.

Rotarian Ken Winslow said: “The Rotary Club has supported Prospect ever since it’s existed. We don’t give money every year but we felt it was time to support them again. We have kept close contact with Prospect over the years and we appreciate the work they do.

“It was split 50/50 on the basis that teams could select their own favourite charity and give one half to Prospect.

“In total the swimathon raised £4,953. Some of it was from the raffle for Prospect and the rest to the Dolphin Swimming Club, Headway, Uplands and Prostate Cancer UK.

“It was good fun and we had a good turnout from the Rotary Club to count the lengths. Next year the target is to double the amount of money we raise and double the number of entries.”

Genevieve Arney, events fundraiser at Prospect Hospice, said: “It’s a fantastic amount and we are so pleased so many of the teams supported us completely.”

The £3,676 raised by the Swimathon could run the Day Hospice for up to 20 patients a day for six days, provide 28 weekdays of nursing care on the In-Patient unit or provide 147 hours of Prospect@Home care. Donate at the website www.prospect-hospice.net