Success at Great Lengths!
Over fifty swimmers went to ‘Great Lengths’ to raise over £27,000 for a local charity focusing on supported employment programmes for young people with learning disabilities and autism.
The swim challenge – aptly named ‘Great Lengths’ – took place on Sunday 24 September, at Sea Lanes Brighton on Madeira Drive – the UKs first National Outdoor Swim Centre.
The Brighton-based organisers of the event – Team Domenica – aim to make this an annual swim challenge, raising much needed funds to support their programmes that help people with learning disabilities aged 19-24 find paid employment across Sussex.
Getting into the water could be a huge achievement, or swimming five kilometres could feel like a breeze. This is why Great Lengths wasn’t a competition, instead, participants chose from a range of distances (up to, and including, 5k).
One of the participants was the charity’s founder, Rosa Monckton MBE, swimming 400m. She started the charity in 2016 and named it after her younger daughter Domenica, who came along with family and friends to cheer her mother on at Great Lengths. Having completed Team Domenica’s Supported Internship Programme, Domenica – who has Down’s syndrome – successfully moved into paid employment at The Grand Brighton and she also works at the Pavilion Graden’s Café during summer months.
It’s the first time we have done a sponsored swim in our six year history, and I am so proud of all the swimmers. A lot of our candidates have been swimming, their parents, people who’ve been touched by the charity and the way in which we transform lives. It’s clear to me that we should do this again and I am already going to put my hand up and do 800m instead of 400m next year!
Rosa Monckton MBE, Founder of Team Domenica
Greg van Heeswijk, Head of Fundraising at Team Domenica, said: “It was a fantastic turnout from candidates, parents, volunteers and members of the public, who drew together to challenge themselves in, and out, of the water. The result was a fun day with a great atmosphere, and many moving moments. Between them, 50 participants and 20 volunteers have raised over £27,000 so far, with donations still rolling in! A huge thanks to all of those who have pulled together to make this event a success.
We would like to thank each and every swimmer that went to Great Lengths, challenged themselves, and raised money for Team Domenica. We would also like to thank all the volunteers for their efforts in making this event a success, as well as our venue partners Sea Lanes Brighton and South Downs Leisure.”
Team Domenica is a charity based in central Brighton providing innovative employment programmes to support young people with learning disabilities, referred to as their ‘candidates’ to more accurately reflect their role as people ready for paid work.
Through a holistic approach which is personalised to each candidate, Team Domenica work to develop independence, confidence, communication and work skills needed for employment.
Since opening in 2016, 81% of Team Domenica candidates have achieved paid employment through their Supported Internship Programme and 95% are still in employment after a year or longer. They achieve this through partnerships with over 50 employers in Brighton & Hove and across Sussex, providing work placements, supported internships and paid employment positions.
To find out more about Team Domenica or to sponsor the swimmers visit: https://teamdomenica.com/events/
You can also express your interest to take the plunge at next year’s Great Lengths swim challenge (date to be confirmed) by emailing email@example.com.