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BPL swimming teacher Robert celebrates award win

Posted on 25/01/24

Proud of Barnsley Awards 2023.

BPL swimming teacher Robert Blackburn is celebrating 10 years of charity fundraising – so far raising over £11,700 for causes close to his heart and recently receiving a special award.

His charity work started back in 2013 when one of his friends was diagnosed with cancer and Robert decided to fundraise for Macmillan Cancer Support to say thank you for the help his friend had received.

He raised money by taking on a sponsored swim at the Metrodome; swimming a mile a day for three weeks, which is equivalent to the width of the English Channel.

Each time, he’s been supported by his loved ones, work colleagues, parents of the kids in his swimming lessons and local businesses, including sponsor Triple M Vehicles Ltd who have helped to cover his costs.

Robert said: “I can’t thank everyone enough. From the support I’ve had from BPL to the parents of the kids I’ve taught to swim and the businesses who have helped me raise sponsorship money. 

“I wouldn’t be able to carry on with what I do, year in and year out, without them.”

Robert’s commitment to making a difference was recently recognised at the Proud of Barnsley Awards where he was presented with the trophy for Charity Fundraiser of the Year.

He added: “I loved the awards evening. It was nice to get the recognition, although I didn’t do it for that, and it felt brilliant to win.

“I didn’t expect it, so I was over the moon.”

Robert’s next challenge is taking on another outdoor swim at Derwent Water, as part of the Keswick Mountain Festival later this year, where he hopes to pass the £12,000 mark on his fundraising.

He added: “While I’m swimming, I’ve always got that person in my head who I’m doing it for. 

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