Portishead charity swimmers top £100k in just five years
PUBLISHED: 09:00 02 July 2017
Organisers of an annual charity swim in Portishead have spoken of their delight after their years of hard work enabled them to top the £100,000 mark.
The Raj K Soni Longest Day Swim saw more than 500 people head to Portishead Open Air Pool for the fundraising event last week.
It was the fifth annual swim at the lido and it raises money for youth projects in memory of Raj who died in 2012.
He was 18 years old when killed in a cycling accident in Dundry.
The Raj K Soni Legacy Fund was subsequently set up and has since distributed thousands of pounds to various charities, with a particular focus on music and sports organisations. Both were huge passions of Raj.
However, the foundation’s attention is now switching to doing more to support vulnerable and disadvantaged youngsters to help them find a good career path, rather than potentially slip into a life of crime or drugs.
Raj’s parents said the swimming event and the charitable endeavour have proved to be a hugely positive experience to be involved with.
They said: “This event has been as amazingly uplifting as it always is.
“It is so comforting to us to know that our son’s legacy fund has raised such a staggering amount of money for the benefit of local youngsters.
“Over the past five years, we have awarded over £82,000 to more than 20 well-deserving charities who use the money in areas that truly change the lives of local youngsters and have significant local impact.
“After this latest event we once again have sufficient funds to ensure another substantial grant awards programme at the end of the year.”
The fund has now raised £112,000 over the five years – as they had targeted. The figure includes £12,500 from this month’s big swim – £500 more than was raised last year.
Hundreds of participants from Portishead collectively swam thousands of lengths on June 16.
Bristol Rock Project and the Rock Vibe Choir performed music throughout the day and Venga staff served up their signature paella dish to swimmers who had worked up a big appetite during the challenge.
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