Belper man to swim lake Coniston to raise money for Dementia UK

Paul Fairhurst.
Paul Fairhurst.

A Belper man is bracing himself for a gruelling long distance swim for a cause close to his heart.

Paul Fairhurst will be pushing himself to his limit to raise money for Dementia UK as he prepares to swim the 5.25 miles of one of the country’s largest lakes.

Paul has signed up to take part in the Chillswim Coniston event on August 31 to raise vital funds for Central England Co-op’s charity partner Dementia UK, which provides specialist care and support for those living with dementia, and their loved ones, through its Admiral Nurse service.

Paul said he was keen to do something outside of his comfort zone to raise money for a cause which means a lot to him after losing his beloved gran to the condition.

The 43-year-old Head of Risk and Compliance at Central England Co-op, said: “When I grew up so many of my happy memories involved my gran doing things with us, whether taking us ten pin bowling or to the football at the weekend.

Caring for a loved one who is living with dementia

“When she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s the hardest part was when she did not recognise me anymore.

“For someone to have been there all of my life to start calling me by the wrong name was really hard.

“When she died there was not the support there that there is nowadays. It would have been great back then for her to have had the support that the Dementia UK Admiral Nurses can now give.

“Coniston is one of the biggest lakes in the country – 5.25 miles in length – and I’m swimming it from one side to the other.

“It’s not something you can just turn up and do on the day. You have to put in the hard yards in training and properly prepare.

He added: “I’ve no idea how I will feel until I get on that start line but I will finish it – there is not a doubt in my mind.”

Paul has funded his participation in the event himself to ensure 100 per cent of the money he raises goes to the charity.

To support Paul visit