Charities as diverse as Greyhound Rescue Jersey, Driving for the Disabled, The Stroke Association and Meals on Wheels will all benefit from funds raised at this year’s Lions Club of Jersey Swimarathon.

40 charities have been chosen as beneficiaries to celebrate the fact that the 2011 event is the 40th Swimarathon.

Lion Peter Tabb said that the Lions Club had made the decision to broaden the scope of the donations so that many smaller charities could benefit. ‘We changed our criteria a little this year with the hope that we could appeal to a wide number of charities. The applications we received came from all sorts of charities and we are delighted that the efforts of the thousands of Islanders who will take part in the Swimarathon will reach into so many areas of Island life,’ said Mr Tabb.

Among the 40 beneficiaries is a small charity which was set up in 1968 with the assistance of the Lions Club. The Jersey Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus is a charity dedicated to funding the supply of equipment and resources for all its members who are sufferers of Spina Bifida or Hydrocephalus.

The Chairman, Joy Thomson, said that conditions were now less prevalent and its members were mostly adults and young adults. ‘Medical advances mean that fewer children are now born with the condition. Our members have become adults and still need specialist equipment and help. Donations like that from the Swimarathon are invaluable to us and we are incredibly grateful.

‘What we always need is money to look after our members. The support we need can range from transport and specially adapted vehicles to medical equipment. The vehicles are enormously important as without them some of our members would be housebound. Our aim is for all our members to lead as normal lives as they can,’ said Joy.

The Jersey Society for Deaf Children and Young Adults is another of the beneficiary charities. The charity is hoping to use the funding to bring over a specialist music teacher to hold workshops for deaf children. Committee member Vivienne Armstrong said that there was an assumption that music was ‘closed’ for deaf children.

‘This really is not the case and it is important for us to be able find the right people to give the extra assistance to those children who need it. Pitch can be very difficult and the fundamental difference is feeling the music rather than hearing it,’ said Mrs Armstrong. ‘All donations of this kind are very important to us. We fund-raise ourselves but this will make a difference for us.'

The recipients of Meals on Wheels will also benefit from a Swimarathon donation. The charity will use the donated funds to buy chocolates for each of their meal recipients at Christmas. Norma Asplet from Meals on Wheels said that receiving a gift at Christmas was really welcomed, as many of their recipients may not have many visitors over the Christmas period.

Paul Patterson, Global Head of Trust at RBC Wealth Management said that the scope of beneficiaries meant that the Swimarathon would reach into many Islanders lives. ‘We are proud to be the main sponsors of this community event and this year’s decision to fund 40 charities means that the swimmers and their sponsors will be reaching into more homes across the Island and making the lives of others that bit better in 2011,’ he said.

The charities receiving funding are:

Victim Support Jersey, Jersey Citizens Advice Bureau, Greyhound Rescue Jersey, Jersey Mencap, Jersey Cheshire Home, Le Squez Youth Club, Ace of Clubs After School and Holiday Play Scheme, Silkworth Lodge, Jersey Alzheimers Association, Driving for the Disabled, St Peter’s Youth Club, CRY, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Jersey, Meals on Wheels (Jersey) Society, St John’s Ambulance Jersey, Jersey Association for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus, Friends of Mont a l’Abbe School, Milli’s Child Contact Centre, Gorey Youth Project, Abbeyfield Jersey Society, Friends of the Bridge, Jersey Women’s Refuge, Friends of the Ecce Homo Trust, Tool for Self Reliance Jersey, Parkinson’s Disease Society Jersey Branch, Les Amis, St Lawrence Youth Club, Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled, Brighter Futures, Jersey Society for Deaf Children and Young Adults, Teenage Cancer Trust Jersey Appeal, Brig-Y-Don, The Stroke Association, Headway, Riding for the Disabled (Jersey) Group, Grace Trust Jersey, Brook in Jersey, Holidays for Heroes and Maison des Landes Hotel for the Disabled.

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About the Lions Club of Jersey
The Lions Club of Jersey was founded in November 1963 at the instigation of the Lions Clubs of Southampton and St Malo, and its charter president was the late Jim Scriven who was, at the time, news editor of the Jersey Evening Post.

About the Lions Club of Jersey Swimarathon
The Swimarathon was conceived in 1972 by the fund-raising committee of the Lions Club of Jersey under the chairmanship of Lion John Abraham as an alternative and successor to the very successful World Aid Walks. The Jersey Swimarathon is the Island’s longest running charity event.

About RBC Wealth Management
RBC Wealth Management is one of the world’s top 10 largest wealth managers. RBC Wealth Management directly serves affluent, high-net-worth and ultra high net worth clients in Canada, the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia with a full suite of banking, investment, trust and other wealth management solutions. The business also provides asset management products and services directly and through RBC and third-party distributors to institutional and individual clients, through its RBC Global Asset Management division (which includes BlueBay Asset Management). RBC Wealth Management has more than $520 billion of assets under administration, more than $260 billion of assets under management and approximately 4,500 financial consultants, advisors, private bankers and trust officers.

About RBC
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) and its subsidiaries operate under the master brand name RBC. We are Canada’s largest bank as measured by assets and market capitalization, and among the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking and transaction processing services on a global basis. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve close to 18 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com.