A Special Swimming Bond

February 15th, 2023 Posted in Blog
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We were thrilled to meet one of our younger supporters, Oliver Farley, who undertook a remarkable swimming challenge to say thank you to Rowans Hospice Charity for looking after his Grandad, Ken Farley, or ‘Grandad Whiskers’ as Oliver affectionately called him. 

Oliver is a keen swimmer and has enjoyed swimming lessons since he was a toddler. He is a member of the David Lloyd Swim Squad and wanted to do something to challenge his swimming ability. Not content with swimming just one mile, something he has done in the past, the ambitious 12-year-old, really pushed himself and decided to swim one mile every day for a week whilst raising funds for the Charity that was taking care of Grandad Whiskers.


It was a tough challenge, but Oliver always persisted even in chilly conditions: On one particular day, all swimming lessons were cancelled as the swimming pool temperature was too low – but that didn’t stop Oliver, who braved the cold water and completed his mile each day after school and after football practice.

Grandad Whiskers sadly died just one day before Oliver completed his mission.

The pair used to enjoy swimming together:

“When we were on holiday together, we went to the beach to go swimming and crabbing,” remembers Oliver.

On Sunday, 11 December 2022 Oliver proudly completed his mission of swimming a mile a day for a whole week, completing over 448 lengths in total.

“The hardest day to swim was after I had played a football match for school. While I was completing the challenge, the pool heating had also broken, so the water was freezing cold,” explained Oliver. “When I finished the challenge, my whole family came to celebrate with me. We had cakes and a confetti cannon – that was the best part!”

Oliver exceeded his £100 fundraising target by an incredible 3027%, with all £3,046.26 raised going to Rowans Hospice Charity. 

Oliver told us,

“I chose to raise money for Rowans Hospice Charity because they looked after Grandad Whiskers. Everyone was doing a good job and they were all so friendly. I was pleased to be able to raise so much money for the Rowans – I only expected to raise £100 and so we were all blown away with the final amount.”

To congratulate Oliver on his incredible achievement, Chief Executive, Ruth White, invited Oliver and his family to the Rowans Living Well Centre for a cheque presentation, where they enjoyed afternoon tea together. Thank you, Oliver, for your support and thank you to everyone who kindly sponsored his challenge.


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