Blackheath couple raise thousands of pounds in 3.5 kilometre Swimathon

A husband and wife from Blackheath have raised £4500 for charity having completed this year’s Swimathon challenge.

Michael and Deirdre Ellis first took part in Swimathon in 2015 but since then have experienced a number of health concerns, including heart surgery and a pulmonary embolism.

They were back swimming regularly at Charlton Lido at the beginning of the year and were determined to swim a collective distance of 3,500m and raise money for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK, causes close to their hearts.

Michael said: “We decided to go for Swimathon 2020 as we were swimming regularly at Charlton Lido and knew that many of our friends would be supportive of our challenge. As their donations showed, they were very supportive.

“We were motivated to keep upping our distance and to raise money for important charities. We are considerably older than most swimmers at the Lido and many of our friends, as have Deirdre and I, have reason to be grateful for Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK.”

Swimathon is the UK’s biggest annual recreational swimming event and its owner the Swimathon Foundation is a remarkable ‘force for good’ in communities all across the UK.

The original 2020 Swimathon was postponed in March and became a virtual event with 18,000 swimmers across the UK taking part. More than £1million has been raised in total this year for Swimathon charities, Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie.

Swimathon President and Olympic medallist, Duncan Goodhew, said: “It’s been an immensely challenging year for us all in Britain, so I’m really pleased to most heartily thank people like Michael and Deirdre who are continuing with Swimathon to ensure really worthy charities have the necessary funding to continue supporting the people who are so critically in need.

“The role of Swimathon Foundation has always been to support swimming communities, protect aquatic facilities and help charities, who have all been really challenged by the pandemic. Thanks to our fantastic swimming community we have been particularly successful this year and with their support we are absolutely determined to continue to be a ‘force for good’ into the future.

“Thank you and well done to Michael, Deirdre and all of our swimmers in London from myself, the Swimathon team, Marie Curie and Cancer Research UK. You are all swimming heroes!”

For more information about the Swimathon Foundation, visit

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