16 Jul 2013

Fearless trio swap deckchairs for docklands in the Great London Swim

The swimmersSpare a thought for fearless trio, Helen Dolpin, Neil Herron and Gary McFarlane.

This August they’ll be resisting the allure of exotic beaches in favour of a cold swim in the most unlikely of places - London Victoria Docks.

Taking part in the Great London Swim, they’ll be swimming past famous landmarks including the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf to raise money for Disabled Motoring UK (DMUK).

For Helen, this will be a particularly gruelling challenge. She lost all four of her limbs to meningitis when she was 22. Following a bout of illness, and in need of a challenge, she decided to take up swimming.

She said: “I’d always been a swimmer so it was the natural sport for me. However, I’m always looking for new challenges and this is certainly a new one for me.”

Swimming alongside her will be Gary and Neil. Gary, a trustee of DMUK, has disabilities in all four limbs and is currently trying to get fit in order to take on the challenge. Neil, the supporting member of the team, is an experienced open water swimmer.

Campaigning work

Their cause is one close to their hearts. Disabled Motoring UK is a charity campaigning for disabled drivers, passengers and Blue Badge holders. The charity lobbies government and businesses across the UK in order to improve parking, refuelling and access provision for disabled people, so that they can access the goods and services that they need.

The trio hopes their mission will help raise awareness of Disabled Motoring UK and raise money for the charity’s ‘Get Going’ roadshow.

Newly disabled people face many daunting challenges. For Helen, these roadshow events are crucial to providing valuable information about car adaptations, license updates and allowing users to try out adapted cars.

She said: “Our Get Going events allow young and newly disabled people to have a go in a range of different vehicles and speak to people about anything and everything to do with driving.”

The events, however, are very expensive and funds are needed to continue the roadshows.

The fact that MyDonate doesn’t charge fundraisers was encouraging for Helen. She said: “Because unlike some of the other fundraising sites we didn’t have to pay lots of money. It’s a great way to spread the word to people and get sponsorship.”

You can view Helen’s MyDonate page here:

For more information about DMUK visit their website at www.disabledmotoring.org

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