Join Santa for Carers Association charity swim

St Michael’s House, Ireland’s largest provider of community-based services for people with an intellectual disability, has teamed up with The Carers Association to launch the third annual ‘Santa Swim’ in an attempt to pack Santa’s sleigh with educational and sporting equipment for St Michael’s House, and support The Carers Association’s respite hours, outreach services and National Care Line in time for Christmas! Across the country relay teams are gearing up to do their lengths for the charities and Offaly swimmers are urged to get involved to raise much needed funds.

St Michael’s House, Ireland’s largest provider of community-based services for people with an intellectual disability, has teamed up with The Carers Association to launch the third annual ‘Santa Swim’ in an attempt to pack Santa’s sleigh with educational and sporting equipment for St Michael’s House, and support The Carers Association’s respite hours, outreach services and National Care Line in time for Christmas! Across the country relay teams are gearing up to do their lengths for the charities and Offaly swimmers are urged to get involved to raise much needed funds.

Well-known friends of both charities, Dublin footballers Mossy Quinn and Barry Cahill, former Dublin senior footballer Ciarán Whelan, representatives of Swim Ireland, Olympic swimmer Aisling Cooney, and World University Games participant Niall Wynn, launched the 2011 Santa Swim recently at the National Aquatic Centre and will be getting teams to swim the equivalent of the length of the Irish Sea in relays throughout the month of November.

Former Kerry football legend Mick O’Dwyer and Kerry county players Ger Power and John O’Keefe will also bring together a team of 15 Kerry players from the infamous 70’s Kerry team to swim the equivalent of the English Channel.

Following the success of last year’s Santa Swim, the event will take place on Saturday and Sunday, November 12 and 13 with a number of pools around the country taking part in the initiative, which aims to raise vital funds for family carers’ essential support services along with new and innovative educational and sporting equipment for people with intellectual disabilities. Both charities are urging individuals, families, friends and clubs of Offaly to get involved in the event and set themselves achievable swimming targets.

Barbara Wiseman, Head of Fundraising, St Michael’s House commented, “Following the overwhelming support we received for the Santa Swim last year we are very excited to continue the event again this year. People across the country have really got behind this cause, and we are looking forward to their help in making another splash this year!”

Emma Murphy, Fundraising Manager of The Carers Association remarked, “We are delighted to team up with St Michael’s House for this fundraising campaign. There are many synergies between the work of St Michael’s House, helping people with intellectual disabilities, and The Carers Association supporting family carers who look after their loved ones. Every €33 raised can help to keep our outreach services operating for another day, even €5 keeps us answering calls for help to the Freefone National Care Line. We’d urge swimmers, athletes, kids and parents across the county to get involved in this fun event and keep fit while raising vital funds for both The Carers Association and St Michael’s House.”

The main sponsors of the Santa Swim 2011 are Unicare and Doc Morris Pharmacy.

You can register for the event now by emailing fundraising@smh.ie. Further information on Santa Swim 2011 as well as a full list of pools and events is available at www.santaswim.ie.

The Carers Association Offaly is located on Market Square, Tullamore and is contactable on 057 9322920/ carerstullamore@carersireland.com