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Blackburn Youth Zone has received a cheque for £6,147.50 from Oliver McCann of Napthens Solicitors after he completed a fundraising swim for the charity.

 Oliver McCann, Employment Partner and Head of Napthens Solicitors East Lancashire, swam the Great North Swim, the biggest swimming water event in the UK. 

Having trained daily for the challenge, Oliver completed the 5km swim in Lake Windermere (the equivalent of a half marathon in running terms) in 1 hour and 23 seconds and smashed through his original fundraising target of £2,000.

Based in its iconic orange building just off Cathedral Square, Blackburn Youth Zone provides a wide range of activities for young people aged 5 to 19 years old, or up to 25 with a disability, and aims to create a positive future for young people, promoting cohesion, skills and aspirations, health and wellbeing. 

With an entrance fee of just 50p, facilities include a canteen, basketball courts, 4G football pitch, climbing walls, dance studio, fully-equipped gym, live music room, recording studio and a gaming room.

Hannah Allen, CEO of Blackburn Youth Zone said:

“We are so grateful to Oliver for taking on this challenge to raise vital funds for Blackburn Youth Zone and the amount raised single-handedly is astonishing. I hope Oliver’s challenge will inspire others to take on a challenge and help us in supporting thousands of young people across the borough. A big thank you to Oliver for all his hard work.”

Oliver McCann from Napthens Solicitors said:

“Being a Blackburn lad, I am passionate about our borough and believe the Blackburn Youth Zone offer vital facilities and services to the young people in our area and which makes a real positive impact to their lives. 

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this challenge. I had never swum 5km before, nor had I done it in open water and it was certainly much colder than the lovely warm temperatures of the swimming pool. I knew it would be tough but I trained hard for it, increasing my distance bit by bit over a 3 month period. Knowing that the challenge would raise vital funds for such a great cause made the 12 weeks training was the only driver I needed. I’m thrilled to raise so much money and want to thank everyone who offered me support or sponsored me. “