Amnesty swimmers cover 25 miles to highlight refugee crisis

Swimmers and volunteers gather on the pool deck at Trinity for the charity swim

More than a dozen supporters of Amnesty International on Saturday swam a combined 1,152 lengths of a pool to raise money and awareness for the thousands of refugees who are forced to make the life-threatening journey across the Aegean Sea in search of safety.

The swimmers in the Trinity School pool covered the equivalent of the 38-kilometre distance between the mainland of Turkey and the island of Lesbos.

The swim, organised by Amnesty International’s Croydon group, saw swimmers participate with as little as a single 33-metre length, to ploughing through the water to cover 6,000 metres during the two-hour session. The Croydon activists are hoping to raise awareness for thousands of refugees – many of whom have fled war, persecution and terror – and to raise £1 for every length they swam.

“We did this for a great cause – and it was an ambitious challenge for us, though of course it is nothing compared with the challenges faced by refugees literally swimming for their lives,” said Harriet Trefusis, a member of the group.

Between them, the Amnesty swimmers covered the distance between Turkey and Lesbos, nearly 25 miles

Record numbers of people worldwide have been forced to flee their homes in a global refugee crisis. These include thousands of families who have made the extremely dangerous journey to Lesbos in search of safety.

“Instead of protecting these refugees, governments across Europe are turning their backs,” Trefusis said.

“It’s up to each and every one of us to do something to help, whether that means holding an event, signing a petition, or joining a community group that supports them.”

Amnesty International is running a petition to call for refugee families in Britain to be reunited – with thousands of vulnerable children being separated from their parents and siblings because of government rules. The petition calls on the Home Secretary to get rid of these unfair rules.

Amnesty Croydon, established in 1961, meets monthly, takes part in campaigns and fundraising. Find out more by clicking here.

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