On December 7, 1988, an earthquake hit Armenia, killing over 45,000 and reducing many cities into rubble. The world responded with immediate aid to rescue those trapped in ruins and to provide shelter through the winter for survivors.
In Leiston, a group of swimmers took a sponsored swim in the North Sea, off the coast of Aldeburgh. The` swim has now become an annual event, drawing an ever larger circle of new and veteran swimmers, and an increasingly large crowd of supporters .
After the first year, proceeds from the swim were donated to Aid Armenia, a charity that dedicated itself to building a children’s hospital in Vanadzor, a large city that was badly damaged. A sixty-bedded children’s hospital designed to withstand earthquakes has been built with UK donations.
Since then, we’ve gathered each year, previously on Christmas Day, now every year on Boxing Day, at 11am in front of the Moot Hall in Aldeburgh (swimmers assemble at 10.45 please). Do join us for the 25th annual swim in 2013.
Frequently asked questions:
Where? Aldeburgh, in front of the Moot Hall
When? Boxing Day, 26 December 2013, 11am (assemble 10.45 please)
Who? You and your friends
Why? To swim or support the swimmers
How long? two minutes!
How many? Normally about 50 swimmers and a couple of hundred supporters
Sponsorship? The most tax efficient way of giving is over the internet, as the government will add 28 percent to what you give. Just go to: www.justgiving.com When you visit the site you are asked for the name of your friend — that’s Mark Fairweather. You then select the Aldeburgh Christmas Swim page from the ones on offer. Or make your cheque payable to Medécins Sans Frontières or EACH and send it to Mark at 16 Wentworth Road, Aldeburgh Suffolk IP15 5BB. Cash is equally good. In the past most donors have given £10 or so, although bigger amounts are always welcome. The money Mark’s firm (Fairweather Stephenson) would otherwise spend on Christmas cards will also go to charity. Or put cash in the buckets on the day!
Registering in advance? No need – just turn up
Safety? The sea is cold and dangerous on 26 December. Click here for some swim safety tips.
Press? Press are very welcome
Comments? Feel free to add comments below
Contact? send us an email