SDLP East Derry MLA Cara Hunter is undertaking a swimathon to raise money for Women’s Aid.
Ms Hunter will be swimming 14 miles (22,530 metres) in 14 days and is seeking donations via gofundme to support the charity.
She began the challenge on Monday and will continue for the next fortnight.
Ms Hunter said:
“Having seen first-hand the incredible work Women’s Aid do in communities across the North I thought the New Year was the perfect time to give something back and raise some awareness for this charity and their tireless staff and volunteers.
“Women who experience abuse often don’t know where to turn and it’s hugely important that services like Women’s Aid exist to help them access the help and support they need to enable them to leave abusive situations and guide them throughout their journey by providing advice and shelter.
“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has shone a spotlight on the issue of domestic abuse, with many vulnerable people being trapped in their homes for long period of time as a result of the restrictions in place. We also saw reports of domestic violence and abuse reach a 15-year high in the North during the pandemic and that has a knock on effect on groups like Women’s Aid and the service they can provide.
“In order to carry out their vital work, Women’s Aid rely on donations alongside traditional funding streams and any amount, large or small can make a difference. I hope that by raising awareness we can keep working to tackle the stigma around domestic violence and let people know that support is there when they need it. Nobody should suffer in silence.”
Ms Hunter’s gofundme page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/f/womens-aid-ni-fundraiser?member=16388953&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na%20share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer&fbclid=IwAR2a1U6QiFaSsrOxDfmzHJuHLXYSf6Lv5VgGaksEGRYWvvkiAAZiwoAu_j8