Tel: 01623 707017
We've Got Mansfield & Ashfield Covered


Water Meadows swimmers’ Channel crossing for autism awareness

Posted onPosted on 8th Aug

Four Water Meadows Swimming & Fitness Complex regulars (pictured) – Sarah Dunsbee and husband, Tim, Cara Saunders and Jack Overton, plus friends Anna Lord and Piers Martin – will be attempting to swim the English Channel this month to raise money for Autism East Midlands, and raise awareness of the condition that affects over 46,000 people living in the region.

With Channel crossings being so dependent on wind conditions, Sarah and her team have a window of August 9th to August 17th to begin their attempt.

This isn’t the Dunsbee’s first Channel swim though. They completed the 21-mile crossing in 2015, and once again will be swimming to raise awareness of a condition that affects them and so many other families in the UK.

One of Tim and Sarah’s children, Hayley, has autism and both parents are keen to promote awareness of this sometimes misunderstood condition.

Tim Dunsbee, who coaches the England Men’s Water Polo Team said: “To support people with autism means a lot to me. After having our daughter, Hayley, we found a world that needs as much help as possible.”

Darren Kissane, Commercial Manager for Mansfield District Leisure Trust, which runs Water Meadows along with its managing agent, Serco Leisure, added: “Swimming the Channel once is a real achievement, but attempting it again just shows the dedication of Sarah, Tim and their team.

“This is an important cause, so anyone wanting to support Sarah, just head over to her Just Giving page and donate. And good luck from everyone at Water Meadows!”

Sarah’s JustGiving page has a target of £6,000. As it stands, the team are over 60% of the way there for this fundraising drive, with almost £4,000 raised so far.

Jack Knight, Marketing & Communications Officer for Autism East Midlands, commented: “Autism East Midlands is extremely grateful for the support of Sarah and the team, their fundraising of £4,000 already could provide 50 support sessions for autistic children with our Clinical Team and another £2,000 could fund one-to-one advice sessions for 10 families affected by autism.

“We are extremely grateful for this financial support but we are also thankful for the awareness the team have raised, as this monster event will help people to talk and learn about autism.”