Swindon Dragon Boat Festival supports Jessie May!

Jessie May were proud to be supported by this year’s spectacular Swindon Dragon Boat Festival.

The event, now in its sixth year, is organised by the Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club, who continue to be supporters of our charity. The rotary club hosts the festival annually on the last Sunday of June to raise funds for chosen charities and worthy causes.

This year 15 competitive teams, from local companies to schools, took to the water in the 40ft-long boats and battled it out for the trophy at Coate Water Country Park in Swindon. Jessie May were invited to welcome crews and visitors to the festival, and talk about the work their nurses are doing locally in the homes of life limited children.

Our Swindon and Wiltshire Fundraising Officer Debbie Clark said: “We had a fantastic time at this year’s festival, and loved cheering the teams on in the sunshine! Jessie May were one of many charities invited along to the event which raises thousands of pounds every year as well as helping raise the profile of local worthy causes.

“We’re very thankful of the support from Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club, who continue to help us promote the amazing and vital respite care the Jessie May nurses are providing to terminally ill children and their families.

“Events like these are extremely important to us as people can not only help raise the funds needed to continue providing this at-home care, but we also have a good opportunity to update supporters on Jessie May and how our service is changing lives across the county.

“We welcome teams to take part in next year’s Swindon Dragon Boat Festival and fundraise for Jessie May. It’s an incredibly fun and exhilarating way to support our charity, and all of the money you raise with go directly to Jessie May and help fund our nurses – who often offer a lifeline to families.

“Why not get together with your friends or colleagues for next year’s festival and do something amazing while enjoying a brilliant day out!”


Dragon Boat racing is an ancient Chinese tradition over 2000 years old and is one of Britain’s most competitive water sports.

Teams of between 12 and 22 people competed during the festival to win the title of Swindon Dragon Boat Champions. This year’s winners were The Silent Killers, who were raising money for an ovarian cancer charity.

Visitors also enjoyed a variety of stalls and entertainment during the fun day, including live music, sumo wrestling, a climbing wall and rides.

John Fisher, Swindon Phoenix Rotary Club Secretary, Trustee and Founder member, said: “This year’s festival was one of the best yet, with the weather truly on our side! It was extremely busy with attendees coming to enjoy the attractions, diversity of stalls, many of which were worthy local causes, and watch the boat racing.

“Each year we aim to organise the Dragon Boat Festival as a family fun day at the water park, and it works really well in bringing people together. It also really helps charities like Jessie May raise money, through either the sponsorship of a Dragon Boat, or the stalls at the side of the lake.

“We were pleased to invite Jessie May as we had heard lots about the charity and the amazing work they do locally. The festival is a good opportunity for charities to come down and talk about their work and raise money and we’re already planning next year’s event now we’ve gathered very positive feedback from attendees.

“Fundraising through racing on one of the dragon boats is a really fun way for individuals and companies to help raise money for their chosen charity – everyone involved comes away having really enjoyed the day, and it can get quite competitive!

“Teams can already sign up to secure a boat – look out on our website as we’ll soon be offering an early bird deposit deal.”

The next event run by the rotary club will take place on Sunday 30th June 2019 at Swindon Coate Water Leisure Park.

If you would like to enter a team and fundraise for Jessie May, please let us know by contacting Debbie on 07551129497 or debbie.clark@jessiemay.org.uk and entering online at www.swindondragonboat.org.uk.

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