Five teams from St. Margaret’s Hospice were among those taking part in the 30th anniversary Taunton Soroptimist Swimathon.

This year half the proceeds from the popular fundraising event will go to St. Margaret’s. The remainder will be shared between Mind (Taunton and West Somerset) and Taunton Foodbank.

Swimmers included palliative care nurse Di Leader, who took part in the first Swimathon 30 years ago, shortly before she joined the hospice.

Di said: “I was working at Trinity then, which was the care of the elderly hospital in Taunton. Quite a few of us there saw this Swimathon and we thought it would be good for a laugh.

“So off we all trotted to what was then the swimming pool in St James Street, which is no longer used. We raised quite a bit of money as a hospital team, and we knew that the funds were coming to St. Margaret’s.

“I did the Swimathon for quite a number of years. I’ve had a break for about five or six years, so I thought this year I’ll make the effort at the grand old age of 61.

“It’s good fun. It’s good camaraderie as well.”

The hospice’s share of the money raised will go towards sponsoring a Taunton-based community nurse.

Corporate partnerships manager Sadie Ellison, who organised the hospice’s teams, said: “We all had a great time. We’re immensely grateful for the support of Soroptimist International Taunton, which will help St. Margaret’s to continue providing vital end of life care in our community.”

Watch Di speaking to our CEO Ann Lee about the Swimathon here.