As you may know, Cecily's Fund has six places in the one-mile swim at this year's Swim Serpentine. Last year was the first event - here are five great reasons why you should take the leap in 2017, swim the mile and fundraise for us!
1) It's Part of the London Marathon Family
Swim Serpentine is organised by the same team that run the UK's biggest and most successful fundraising event - the London Marathon. The Marathon has been running since 1981 and raises millions for charities every year - Swim Serpentine is just starting out, but has the same organisational powerhouse behind it. You can expect a fantastic, well-run event if you take part in Swim Serpentine on September 16.
2) Swimming Will Make You Stand Out from the Crowd
Running is the most popular activity for fundraisers, and while it's a great way to generate money it's also a familiar one. By signing up to swim a mile, you'll be doing something much less common: and that might make it a bit easier to get your friends and family to sponsor you.
3) It's Easier Than You Think
Swimming a mile outdoors can sound daunting, especially if you're not a regular swimmer. It's for that reason that you'll have to train to prepare yourself for this event. However, don't be put off - swimming a mile is definitely doable and easier than you think, as our 2016 swimmers discovered. The organisers also provide a training plan.
4) We've Got Your Back
While we can't be in the water with you on the day, Cecily's Fund can support your fundraising efforts. We'll promote your fundraising page on all of our social media channels, sharing any posts of your own. We'll also link to your page from our website, and spread the word in any other way we can. We can advise you on how best to fundraise, and we provide a fundraising pack full of helpful tips.
5) Your Fundraising Changes Lives
Every pound you can raise for Cecily's Fund by taking part in Swim Serpentine will really help us to change lives in Zambia. Just £50 is enough for us to keep a child in school for a year, and £250 can enable us to provide five small business grants - helping young people get a business off the ground and secure a vital income for themselves.
If you're looking for a different way to raise money for Cecily's Fund, the second Swim Serpentine might be just the event for you!
From the minds behind the London Marathon, Swim Serpentine is a new open-water swimming event which takes place in Hyde Park on September 16. Last year, our two swimmers Tim and Verity (Cecily's sister) raised well over £2,000 by taking part in the first-ever event.
Swimming a mile in open-water might sound intimidating, but with a bit of practice Tim and Verity found it to be very doable - and fun! What's more, the £2,000 they raised is enough for us to support 40 Zambian children to go to school for a year.
This year, Cecily's Fund has six places in this special event. Sign up today to become part of Swim Serpentine and help us make a splash in our 20th anniversary year!
Our supporters Tim and Verity took part in the first-ever Swim Serpentine on Saturday 24 September - and so far, they've raised over £1,600 for Cecily's Fund.
Created by the minds behind the London Marathon, Swim Serpentine is a one-mile swim in the Serpentine, the lake within London's iconic Hyde Park. Cecily's sister Verity Eastwood-Dewing and Tim Cooke-Hurle agreed to take on this challenge and to raise sponsorship for our work in Zambia, taking to the water with thousands of other swimmers for this historic first event.
Tim and Verity both thoroughly enjoyed their challenging day out, and with the help of their generous donors have together reached a total of over £1,600 to help Cecily's Fund provide education in Zambia. Both of their fundraising pages are still open and accepting donations:
Thank you once again to Tim and Verity for their superb efforts, which form a part of our build-up to the 20th anniversary year of Cecily's Fund in 2017.
Back in our Summer Newsletter, we described this month as a "Super September" in terms of fundraising for Cecily's Fund by our supporters - and that's what it is turning out to be!
On Saturday 24 September, Super September will see its culmination when two Cecily's Fund supporters - including Cecily's sister Verity - take on the first-ever Swim Serpentine in central London. You can read lots more about their amazing efforts in our news story.
Basil Gets the Wheels Turning With "Ride and Stride" [Donate]
This very special month of fundraising began with the efforts of our co-founder Basil Eastwood (pictured, left). On September 10, he took part in the 2016 edition of "Ride and Stride", cycling between 20 Oxfordshire churches. Basil's efforts raised money partly for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust (OHCT - of which Basil is chair) and partly for Cecily's Fund. He has raised an amazing £1,200 so far - of which half will go to Cecily's Fund.
Marc Hits the Road, London to Brighton [Donate]
Just a day after Basil's cycle, another one took place. On September 11, supporter Marc Monsarrat (pictured, right) rode the popular and challenging route from London to Brighton, once again raising money for Cecily's Fund. At the completion of his journey Marc was met by his family, including his wife Veronica - a Cecily's Fund trustee, Cecily's cousin, and our first-ever employee. To date, Marc has raised over £1,000. "I did it!", Marc said of the day. " A lovely day of brilliant sunshine, only one puncture, a fun pit-stop lunch with Veronica and Eva, and a restorative burger on Brighton beach in front of a glorious sunset.”
Kate Takes on the World in Mexico [Donate]
Maybe the most exciting of all the fundraising events in September is that of Kate Williams, who we have been talking about for a few months now. Kate took part in the first-ever London Marathon back in 1981 but in the last few years has taken up a new hobby: triathlon. To her surprise, Kate qualified to take part in the ITU World Championships for her age group in Cozumel, Mexico. The event took place on September 15 and while Kate wasn't happy with her time, she said "thanks to everyone who sponsored me and gave to Cecily's Fund." So far, she's raised £750.
Thank you so much to all our amazing fundraisers! If you're inspired by what they have done this month, please consider sponsoring them and helping us make a terrific impact in Zambia. Even better, why not find out how you can take on an event of your own?
On Saturday September 24, two intrepid Cecily's Fund supporters will take on the first-ever Swim Serpentine event, raising money for our life-changing work in Zambia.
The culmination of our Super September of fundraising events, Swim Serpentine is a new mass-participation swim created by the minds behind the London Marathon. Together with thousands of others, Cecily's sister Verity Eastwood-Dewing (pictured) and Tim Cooke-Hurle will swim one mile in the Serpentine, the lake within London's iconic Hyde Park. "I'm going to swim a mile around the Serpentine for Cecily's Fund", Tim says, "because it's a great cause that helps thousands of kids."
Verity and Tim have been training hard for this challenging event, and their fundraising has got off to a great start - together they've raised over £1,400 for Cecily's Fund; enough to train 18 our of Peer Educators, or to send around 14 children to school.
To give our swimmers some extra encouragement and to help boost their impact in Zambia, please consider sponsoring them:
Verity, Tim and Cecily's Fund would hugely appreciate your support. What we're calling Super September has already seen our co-founder cycle around Oxfordshire, supporters Kate and Marc take on the triathlon world championships in Mexico and cycle from London to Brighton, respectively. Collectively, these events have raised almost £4,000 for our work - an amazing total. Please support Verity and Tim and help us make an even bigger splash in Zambia!