FUNDRAISING swimmers have raised more than £800 for charity.

Swimmers took on a mix of 5k, 2.5k and 1.5k swims over the course of two days at Bridport Leisure Centre.

Individuals and one team managed to raise £817 for Cancer Research UK and Marie Curie by taking part in the 32nd annual Swimathon.

Nationally, more than 21,000 swimmers took to the water this year, an increase of 1,000 from last year, and raised £1.8 million for the two charities.

Duncan Goodhew, Swimathon president and Olympic gold medallist, said: “It has been a real joy to see Swimathon develop into the great event that it is today and raise so much money for so many worthwhile charities.

“Swimathon really gives people a chance to get active with friends and family, whilst doing some greater good at the same time.

“I am so proud that Swimathon gives so many people their first chance to enjoy the water.”

Swimathon began in 1986 by the Guild of London Bath managers to encourage pools to get more people swimming.

The launch of the annual event was in 1988 and since then, Swimathon has attracted almost 700,000 participants at more than 100 pools across the UK to raise money for charity.

Mark Winton, head of community fundraising at Marie Curie, said: “I’d like to say a massive thank you to all of the 21,000 swimmers who went to great lengths during this year’s Swimathon.

“We’re absolutely delighted that £1.8 million has been raised so far, which will help Marie Curie to provide care and support to more people living with any terminal illness and their families.”

The annual event has so far raised £51 million for various charities.

Emma Hyatt, head of events and sports at Cancer Research UK, said: “I’d like to offer a huge congratulations and a massive thank you to all the 21,000 swimmers who took on the challenge at this year’s Swimathon.

“It is a privilege for Cancer Research UK to partner with such a special event and we are amazed by all the hard work that has gone in to fundraising the £1.8 million so far, which will help to fund lifesaving research and help bring forward the day when all cancers can be cured.”