Sunderland swimmers go to great lengths for aid project

Farringdon Community Academy students during their fundraising swimathon.
Farringdon Community Academy students during their fundraising swimathon.
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Youngsters at a Wearside school made a splash to raise money for an aid project.

The students at Farringdon Community Academy took part in a swimathon to boost funds for the Gambia Project.

In December 2013, staff and students from the Allendale Road school travelled to Gambia in Africa, to work with the children, young people and families in the Gunjur region.

They took with them a huge container full of essentials for the poorest families and worked on projects such as revamping a classroom.

The trip proved such as success and helped so many vulnerable families, the Sunderland school has decided to make it an annual event. This means it is continually raising cash to fund the trip.

David Horsley, Year 8 manager at Farringdon, said the swimming event was a big success, with more than 200 children taking part.

As well as pupils from across Farringdon Community Academy’s year groups, youngsters from East Herrington Primary Academy, who have weekly swimming lessons in the secondary school pool, were also keen to join in.

Mr Horsley said: “The primary children were really keen to take part. They did really, really well.”

The aim of the swimathon was for the students to keep going until collectively they had covered 40km, which represents the distance from the airport in Banjul to Gunjar, which the young swimmers comfortably achieved.

Mr Horsley said: “The students really enjoyed themselves, some of them even did it twice by completing two 40- minute sessions.”

To raise money, pupils paid £2 each to take part.