MORE than 700 babies and toddlers in Cornwall will be taking part in a national fundraising event to raise money for two charities.

Children from Water Babies classes across the UK will be showcasing their superstar swimming skills this month with a ‘Splashathon’ fundraiser for charities Tommy’s and the Children’s Alliance. 

Splashathon will be held at Praa Sands in Penzance, Atlantic Reach in Newquay, Chycara House in Truro, St Million in Saltash and Honicombe in Callington next week.

The bi-annual fundraiser has been running in Water Babies lessons since 2006, and has raised more than £5-million.  

This year, the aim is to raise the highest amount ever achieved in one ‘Splashathon’ – £1-million for Tommy’s and the Children’s Alliance.   

This could support the UK’s first Tommy’s National Centre for Preterm Birth Research for a year, working to reduce the number of babies born too early. 

 A spokesperson said: “One in six children struggle with social, emotional or mental health, but by supporting local initiatives Children’s Alliance aims to make a real difference in a child’s first five years, which will have a long-term impact on their life.”  

Funds raised and distributed by the Children’s Alliance will be used to help fund lessons and sessions – £14 will fund a child under-five with cerebral palsy to join a specialist group swimming session on a weekly basis through the Dame Vera Lynn Charity, £25 will buy specialist swimwear and a towel for a disabled child through Leigh Trust, £30 pays for a disabled child to go to a specialist swimming session through We Are Beams, £60 will pay for a full wetsuit for a child through the Wave Project, £166 pays for a surf therapy session for a child suffering from mental health issues through the Wave Project, £300 will pay for a specialist wetsuit for a child recovering from cancer who has an enteral line or central line through Face Everything And Rise. 

Howard Harrison CEO at Water Babies said: “We’re thrilled for Splashathon to return to Water Babies lessons and raise funds for two amazing charities, which help to give better starts and brighter futures to children and young people in our communities.”   

Tommy’s CEO Kath Abrahams added: “Splashathon is a fabulous way for children to have fun in support of a vital cause. We’re grateful to every family taking part and everyone who’s working hard to make it happen at swimming pools around the UK.”   

Tamsin Brewis at Children’s Alliance continued: “We can’t wait for Splashathon and to watch families come together in their swimming lessons for this special sponsored event. 

“We’re so appreciative of every water baby taking part, who will be helping us to give better starts and brighter futures to children across the country.”