Courtney raising funds for cancer charity with swimming fundraiser

Courtney raising funds for cancer charity with swimming fundraiser

9 September 2020

A SEAFORDE woman is raising money for Marie Curie Cancer by utilising her swimming skills.

Courtney Stuart, who is 19, has already raised £500 so far for her efforts. 

The Marie Curie Swimathon is a national swimming event that usually takes place in 600 pools across the UK.

The challenge is open to everyone, regardless of age or ability. A competitor can choose to swim either 400 metres, 1.5 kilometres, 2.5 kilometres, five kilometre or a triple five kilometres.

“I have always been a competitive swimmer,” said Courtney. “I learned of this challenge on Facebook. Due to Covid-19, the original aim of doing it collectively with other swimmers was cancelled, but we are able to do it by ourselves and I took part in my swim on August 24th. 

“At the start of the race I felt quite nervous, but as I got further into it I was able to get into my stride and relax more about it.”

Courtney said she felt compelled to do something to help those working in very challenging times in healthcare.

“The nurses in particular who are working in care homes have been very harshly hit. It has been such a difficult time for them, and especially in terms of trying to keep both themselves and their residents safe. The need has been so great for PPE and it was against that sort of background that I felt I had to do something to help.”

She continued: “Marie Curie provides expert care, guidance, and support for people living with any terminal illness, and their families.

“Around 2,100 Marie Curie nurses work day and night, in people’s homes all over the UK, providing hands-on care and emotional support. Their hospices provide round-the-clock, specialist care for people in their local communities. They offer practical information and emotional support to everyone affected by terminal illness, including family and friends.”

Courtney said that whilst things have been very different for people over the last number of months in terms of everyday life, it still should not stop them from doing things they want to do. “If people want to do something, then I would say just do it,” she said. “If you say to someone you are going to do something, you can sometimes let them talk you out of it.

“The moment I handed over the cheque for what I had raised, I felt really good. I have paid a lot of attention to what other people have been able to achieve in lockdown, and to be honest it really inspired me. It was stories like theirs that helped push me on to do this.”

A spokesperson for Marie Curie said: “Our community nursing services and hospices are relieving pressure on the NHS by keeping people out of hospital beds which are needed for coronavirus patients. We are also caring for people at the end of their life with coronavirus. 

“We rely on the generosity of the public to deliver our care. But along with so much else, most of our fundraising activities have been put on hold. We are facing a devastating loss of funds. We have seen an increased demand on our services, caring for dying people and supporting their loved ones.”

The spokesperson added: “We’ve committed to our NHS partners that we will be there to deliver care, and we’ve got to continue to be there.”