A SUCCESSFUL annual event helped raise funds for a good cause and promote a healthy lifestyle.

The proceeds of the Fun Swim, held in January at the 1610 Dorchester Sports Centre were handed over to various charities.

The main beneficiary was mental health charity Dorset Mind, which received £1,000.

Vice-President of the Dorchester and District Lions, Andy Rose, said: “During the Lions centennial year we felt it was a good time to get behind Dorset Mind to increase awareness of mental health problems. We realise how much mental health issues affect families directly and indirectly. It’s good for us as a community organisation to support local people by helping to raise awareness.”

The event, organised by the Lions and 1610, is in its 34th year, but was renamed for 2017 as the fun swim, after being known as the swimarathon for a number of years.

Over the past decade the event has raised more than £200,000 for various food causes. Andy Rose, of the Lions Club, said that when the opportunity to collaborate with 1610 came up, they felt it was time to freshen up the name, with emphasis on people having fun.

Dorset Mind patron and psychologist at Bournemouth University, Dr Andy Mayers, said: “Congratulations to the Dorchester Lions and Joe Symes, 1610 Dorchester’s Customer Sales Manager, for hosting a successful weekend and raising such a considerable amount for us.

“As an affiliate of national Mind we are responsible for our funding. So the sponsored swim and weekend was a fantastic opportunity to help raise awareness of mental health issues whilst also raising much-needed funds. All money raised will go towards supporting people in Dorset with mental health problems – and for that we are hugely grateful.”

As well as the swim, the centre offered free activities to visitors at the event, including mini class tasters and demonstrations, as well as tours of the sports centre and its new fitness suite.

As well as raising money for good causes, the event also aims to promote exercise and the benefits it has for everyone’s health and wellbeing.