More than 150 aquatic enthusiasts took the plunge on June 9 for the charity’s second Open Water Swim Challenge to raise vital funds for the Hospice.

The event offered a range of distances for all abilities from 500m to 10K, and the choice to swim individually or as part of a relay team.

The day was a huge success with swimmers braving cooler than normal temperatures for June of 16 degrees in Bray Lake and cheered on by many enthusiastic spectators.

Jess Seymour who swam in memory of her husband says, “My husband Matt passed away here at the Hospice last August and I have done a lot this year to raise money and awareness of the amazing work they do.

"Today, I swam 500m and have raised £400 and next year I will be back to challenge myself to swim the 1k distance.”

Nikki Pickford who swam in memory of family member Francesca Nardini adds, “Francesca spent her last few days at Thames Hospice in March and I know she would find it really funny I have been in the lake!

"It’s a place that is very dear to me and my family and I want to do as much as I can to raise money and awareness because it’s such an incredible place.”

After gliding to the finish line, swimmers collected their reward and a well-deserved hot drink from the charity’s Café by the Lake.

To date, the Open Water Swim event has raised £44,000 for Thames Hospice which could help fund a nurse for a year.

Thames Hospice’s Events Fundraiser Emma Andrews says, “The swimmers were absolutely amazing, not to mention all the spectators cheering from the lakeside! Everyone’s energy, enthusiasm, and incredible spirit made our event into an unforgettable day! Everyone made waves and showed what it means to be part of an amazing community.

“It was very moving to hear all the stories about why swimmers and supporters chose to swim and fundraise for Thames Hospice.”

 Thames Hospice Proudly serves the community of East Berkshire and South Buckinghamshire since 1987 and provides complex, specialist palliative and end-of-life care for people with a life-limiting condition, aged 16 years and over, as well as vital support for their families.

They employ more than 330 dedicated and highly experienced staff who, with the support of over 940 volunteers, provided outstanding care to 2,938 people last year.

Treating everyone with kindness, compassion and respect, they provide a safe and caring environment for those facing a life-limiting diagnosis.

They are committed to delivering care that is agile and responsive so that we give patients and their loved ones choices about the care they receive, providing the best clinical and therapeutic support in their homes and at the Hospice.