Fund Raising Superstars! The Swim Serpentine 2023

This year witnessed a distinct unfolding of the Swim Serpentine event, a yearly commemoration that beautifully merges the worlds of charity and athleticism.

The Swim Serpentine event, an annual celebration of the fusion of philanthropy and athleticism, unfolded uniquely this year. On September 16th 2023, the serene waters of the iconic Serpentine Lake in London’s Hyde Park, and the backdrop of the capital city created an idyllic setting for swimmers from diverse backgrounds. They gathered not only to bask in the beauty of open waters but also to make waves for charitable causes, including the CareTech Foundation

At the forefront of this inspiring challenge was Richard Hawkes, CEO of the British Asian Trust, and Michelle O’Brien, Head of Charitable Partnerships at The Goldsmiths’ Company. Their efforts exemplified the remarkable potential of sports to drive positive change and unite communities for a greater purpose.

The journey to “Swim Day” wasn’t without its fair share of drama. Mother Nature threw an unexpected curveball in the form of a rare British summer, bringing excessive heat and light. This unusual weather led to the rapid growth of algae in the Serpentine waters, rendering it unsuitable for swimming. For two long days, scientists tirelessly conducted tests and monitored algae levels, seeking a solution to this unforeseen bump. The clock was ticking, and the pressure was mounting.

It wasn’t until 6 pm on the evening before the event that the eagerly anticipated all-clear signal was finally given. The Serpentine waters had been deemed safe, allowing Richard and Michelle to don their swimming attire, adjust their goggles, and take the plunge into waters that were, for once, greener than usual.

For Michelle O’Brien, the swim presented an opportunity to not only test her physical abilities but also her dedication to the cause. She raised over £600 for the CareTech Foundation, contributing to its ongoing efforts to make a difference in the lives of those in need

On the other hand, Richard Hawkes also managed to raise an astounding total exceeding £23,000! Half of this significant sum was generously allocated to the CareTech Foundation, a heartfelt contribution that will undoubtedly empower the foundation to continue its noble work. The remaining half of this remarkable fundraising achievement went to the British Asian Trust, an organization that has been a trusted ally of the CareTech Foundation since 2019. Together, they have collaborated on a project aimed at expanding access to essential support services and reducing the stigma associated with mental health in Pakistan.

The Swim Serpentine event, born from adversity, culminated in a display of remarkable resilience and unity. It serves as a reminder that challenges can be overcome, even in the face of unexpected obstacles, when individuals and communities unite with a shared purpose. This year’s swim will forever be etched in the memories of all who participated, a story of triumph over adversity and a powerful testament to the boundless potential of human compassion and perseverance.

As the sun set on this remarkable Swim Serpentine event, it’s essential to bear in mind that the impactful work of the CareTech Foundation hinges on the collective efforts of individuals who share the vision of effecting positive change in the world. The Foundation actively seeks volunteers prepared to take on the challenge of fundraising in the coming year, whether through physical endeavours or creative avenues aligned with their interests. Through the dedication and enthusiasm of volunteers, the CareTech Foundation can pursue its noble mission, reaching out to those in need. If you’re interested in becoming part of this inspiring journey, do not hesitate to contact Razwan Butt, the Communications Manager, at Your commitment can be the driving force behind the positive change we all aspire to see in the world. Join us and be a part of something extraordinary.