Our official charity

Miarinarivo village, Madagascar

 

Swim for WaterAid

We're excited to welcome back our official charity partner, WaterAid, to the Great North Swim in 2023. Find out how you can join their swimming community and reach millions of people around the world with clean water below.


Water is a shared resource

The community aspect of swimming is one of the best things about the sport. Being in nature, the exhilarating feeling of the open water and the challenges that come with it can all be rewarding. But sharing these experiences with others brings them together in a special way.

We want swimmers to make their community even bigger by supporting people who need clean water. 1 in 10 people still live without this human right. But together, with a huge effort – locally, nationally and globally – we can turn that around

 

What it looks like when a community comes together for water

 

Raoly and her neighbours in Tsarafangitra village, Madagascar

Raoly and her neighbours in Tsarafangitra village, Madagascar, have united behind a common cause: clean water. In the past, people here had to spend long, precious hours fetching dirty water from the river. But together, they’re changing this.

The residents of Tsarafangitra have mucked in with our local partners to install a brand new water system. “Excavating 14km of trench to lay the water pipe is tough work,” Raoly says, “but I am so happy and motivated.”

“We won’t stop until there is water running from the tap in our village.”

 

Join our community

Our need for water unites us. None of us can solve the water crisis alone, but we can each bring something to build a world where everyone can stay healthy and thrive.

Raise funds for WaterAid doing what you love, and grow a global community unlocking people’s potential with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

Great North Swim finishers

 

You can still join our Great North Swim community today by signing up with a WaterAid place in the event. Or if you’ve already got your own place, simply set up an online fundraising page with WaterAid as your chosen charity.

Secure your WaterAid place in the Great North Swim today >

Water Moments

Water Moments series highlights and celebrates the human experience with water, it’s importance and how it can transform our lives. Our need for water unites us globally. Working together we can build a world where everyone can stay healthy and thrive 💙

 

Fisherman in Satala

 

Fisherman in Satala

As we welcome the warmer spring weather here in the UK, around the world, climate change is causing excessive warming, which for some, impacts their access to water and even their livelihoods.

For the people of Satala in Niger, the natural ponds used by communities for market gardening, watering animals and fishing have been heavily impacted by the impacts of climate change, reducing the ponds’ potential and requiring the implementation of a strategy of prevention and sustainable management.

For the community members of Satala, a significant Water Moment happened in collaboration with WaterAid, when they implemented a disaster risk reduction plan, removing invasive weeds and growing the development of fish. The weeds were then transformed into compost and used by communities in the fields to improve their productivity. Finally, a management committee was set up to take preventive measures going forward.

To help ensure everyone, everywhere has access to water, even in places at risk of climate change, WaterAid work to equip and strengthen access by the construction and rehabilitation of existing sources, in addition to working with communities and local governments to identify risks and implement action.

Our need for water unites us globally. Working together we can build a world where everyone can stay healthy and thrive. As our Official Charity Partner, WaterAid invite you to raise funds doing what you love to help unlock people’s potential with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene.

 

 

Will Addis swam for WaterAid in 2021

 

Will Addis swam for WaterAid in 2021

Will (pictured) took on the Great North Swim for WaterAid in 2021.

We wanted to know more about Will’s Water Moments; why he chose swimming, why the Great North Swim and why he wanted to swim for our official charity partner WaterAid, so we asked him! Here’s what he said;

“I swim for fitness, companionship and for my mental health. I find it therapeutic on my aching body and freeing for my mind - Swimming outdoors is liberating and fun, particularly with others”.

“I would say Lake Windermere was the best place [I’ve swam] so far as it had the best location, toughest and most memorable swim conditions and the best purpose, namely raising money for WaterAid.”

“I wanted to take part in an open water swimming event which gave me something to look forward to, was a bit of a challenge (2 miles in lake Windermere) and made a difference to someone else's life. I chose WaterAid, as they change millions of lives every year”

Will’s right! Working together, swimmers like you can support WaterAid in its mission to build a world where everyone can stay healthy and thrive. As our Official Charity Partner, they invite you to follow in Will’s footsteps and raise funds doing what you love.

Help unlock people’s potential with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Find out more about Swimming with WaterAid here.

 

Gardening

 

Gardening

We all think about water in the context of drinking, washing and, of course, swimming, but what about the other things we so heavily rely on water for, such as growing our food, or tending our gardens

Like many of us, Namulindwa Patricia and her family were heavily impacted by the pandemic when their livelihoods were put on hold due to lockdown.

“Now that I could not go to my place of work because of the lockdown, I had a lot of time at home doing nothing. In Weyonje [a support group empowered by WaterAid to promote improved sanitation and good hygiene practices in communities] we talked about backyard gardening and many of us liked the idea. I decided to use my back yard to grow some quick maturing food crops as a coping mechanism to the financial gap brought about by the pandemic. It was a means of survival to feed my family”

During the lockdown, Namulindwa’s family could only afford to eat one meal per day. Neither her nor her husband could go into work, so growing crops became a lifeline for them. However, this couldn’t have been possible without access to water, nor without the support and guidance of the Weyonje group who mobilised its members, to start backyard gardening using recycled waste.

The initiative both improved environmental sanitation and hygiene through better solid waste management and recycling but also enabled members to access alternative incomes and food security from the vegetables they grew. Additionally, this initiative will also increase members’ adaptive capacity to the effects of droughts and climate change.

Working together, swimmers like you can support WaterAid in its mission to support communities and groups, to provide access to water close to home and to build a world where everyone can stay healthy and thrive. As our Official Charity Partner, they invite you to support even more people like Namulindwa and raise funds doing what you love.

Help unlock people’s potential with clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene. Find out more about Swimming with WaterAid here.