Wimbledon Guild Befriender Completes Second Open-Water Swim

Imogen is carrying out a three-event summer swim to raise funds

Wimbledon Guild befriender Imogen Horn has completed her second gruelling open-water swim in aid of the charity.

Imogen, 21, from Earlsfield, is part way through a three-event summer swim-a-thon for the local welfare charity and clocked up an impressive 8.3km in The Long Reach Swim on The Thames.

She completed the 5km Great London Swim at Docklands in July and will finish her challenge with the River Adur 5km swim near Brighton.

Guild volunteer Imogen said after the 8.3km swim, which set off from Wallingford near Oxford: "The swim was amazing - I absolutely loved it. It was in such a beautiful place and I was really happy with my time too. I even I felt better than I expected afterwards!"

She was supported by her parents and family friends for the river swim in aid of the charity and took just two hours and 25 minutes to cover the distance.

Imogen volunteers with Wimbledon Guild by befriending an older person in need of company and friendship. The medical student spends two hours a week with Vera, 83, after they were introduced by the Guild.

She added: "Befriending is definitely not what I imagined. I thought it would be a gentle chat over a cup of tea whilst I desperately thought of what to say next. It is SO far from that! We have become really close, to the point where it is like talking to one of my housemates! I hope I have in some way improved her life, as she has certainly more than done the same for me.

“Please think about becoming a befriender – I cannot recommend it enough and Wimbledon Guild always need people to volunteer.”

Wimbledon Guild’s Head of Welfare, Emma Aldridge, added: “Imogen's visits have made a huge difference. We wouldn’t be able to fulfil our vision to improve the wellbeing of people in Merton without the help of our volunteers like Imogen and we are grateful to each and every one of them.

“We would obviously love it if more people were able to spare a few hours a week to befriend an older person in our community. Loneliness is a hidden issue that we are working hard to tackle every day.”

August 31, 2017

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Imogen Horn