Firstly ,a little history of the event from W Bro Ken Purslow of Byron Lodge 4014
"I was appointed Charity Steward of the Byron Lodge in February 1992, shortly after that it was suggested that I joined the recently formed Mansfield Charity Stewards Committee.
The chairman of the committee was W/Bro Stuart Hill (later the RtW Bro Stuart Hill Provincial Grand Master of Nottinghamshire).
At a meeting sometime later W/Bro Stuart said ‘at the next meeting we will have a brainstorming session’ with ideas to raise funds for Mansfield Charities. I suggested we had a charity swim.
When we left the meeting I was walking to my car when Stuart came over to me and said “you arrange for the swim and if it goes wrong I will pay for the hire of the swimming pool”
That first sponsored swim that year raised £3,000.00 (taking inflation into account that is equivalent to £7,387.89 in today’s money) I remember going to the John Eastwood Hospice with Stuart to present the cheque to them.
That is when and how today’s swimathon was started and it has continued for twenty eight years ever since, missing only one year during the covid epidemic.
This year the Mansfield and Ashfield Charity Steward’s committee decided to support a local charity at Rainworth – Sam’s Workplace. This extract is taken from their literature which briefly explains what they do.
Debbie & Phil,
“Sam is our son and has Down's Syndrome, autism, and several other factors affecting his learning and development Whilst he was in education, he was safe and secure but when we began to look around at options available afterwards, there was little that Sam liked or wanted to do.
We were constantly offered a "set" box, but Sam doesn't fit into a box, nor did we want something that was "a best fit" for him ... we wanted the absolute best as he deserved it! So we set about setting up something that ticked ALL of his boxes, and Sam's Workplace was born.
Currently Sam’s Workplace has 23 students undergoing life skills training with four full time staff and a number of volunteers”.
See the link below to see more of the amazing work this charity does and why this year, the Mansfield Masonic Swimathon is in aid of this very worthwhile cause
Here is a selection of swimmers from this years event, who made their way through fire and explosions close by to the pool to ensure they got their lengths in to raise money for the Charity
Among the swimmers were The Provincial Grand Master Philip Marshall, Gary Hallam, Steve Cooling (and his daughter) and an incredible achievement by David Saint of Kirkeby Lodge who on his own completed a magnificent 60 lengths of the pool
The swimmers were cheered on by family and friends and several volunteers from the Masonic Charity Committee were on hand to tick off every length achieved
The Chairman of the Nottinghamshire Provincial Charity Committee John Pawlik (and Mrs P) Ken Purslow and other members of the Committee were on hand to present each swimmer with a certificate and hosted representatives of Sam's Workplace
It will take some time to collect in all the pledged sponsership money from this years event but once the total is know it will be updated here
Also many thanks to the staff at Water Meadows swimming pool who were very supportive