Four medal-winning swimmers are taking time out of their busy training schedules to saddle up for Derwen Charity’s 24-hour Spinathon on 2–3 February.

Derwen College students, who represent Down Syndrome Swimming GB, have pledged to cycle for a combined 16 hours to raise money for Derwen Charity.

Lizzie Allen, Helen Thompson, Dylan Williams and Dylan Hughes, who train with Oswestry Otters, have already raised more than £400 for the charity; their target is £600. Money raised will be used to provide students and clients with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) with outdoor fitness and wellbeing opportunities. These will include outdoor gym equipment, a climbing wall and an accessible footpath to encourage students and staff to walk a daily mile.

The Spinathon sees students and staff from the specialist further education college, which has its main campus in Gobowen, take part in the gruelling spin session from 10am on Friday 2 February, through to 10am on Saturday 3 February.

The event has a packed timetable of entertainment to keep our spinners occupied including live music from local band, The Recursives, and a visit from Oswestry artist Doodle Deb who will be decorating the large Reception area windows on Friday.

The entire event will be live streamed, and there’s entertainment through the night, including ABBA, country, musicals and 90s themed music.

Originally launched by sports coordinators Steve Evans and Sian Thomas in 2022, the Spinathon sees fundraisers pedal for a phenomenal 24 hours. This year, Steve will be pedalling for the full 24 hours, while Sian will be running themed spin classes at intervals through the day and night. They are joined on the journey by students, staff and supporters who all pledge to raise money through their own individual challenges, whether that be 30 minutes or the full 24-hour shift.

Fundraisers are asked to donate or raise sponsorship of £10 per hour for the challenge.

Hospitality student and champion swimmer Lizzie Allen, who is also the Student Union Board president, said she was ready for the challenge.

She said: “I’m going to spin for four hours in the Spinathon. As members of Down Syndrome Swimming GB team, we’re looking forward to working together to support Steve and Derwen Charity.”

Derwen College Fundraiser and Events Co-ordinator Megan Charman, thanked Derwen’s sensational swimmers and their families for the amazing support.

She said: “We are so grateful to Helen, Lizzie, Dylan and Dylan for volunteering their time to take part in the charity spinathon. They are all sporty and determined so we know they’ll smash this challenge!”

To support our brave swimmers, you can donate to

There are also still spaces for anyone who would like to join the Spinathon for a spin session. We invite everyone to join in and raise funds for the College and its students and clients. Find out more at

If you’d like to find out more about how to support Derwen Charity, and enable young people with SEND to reach their aspirations, then go to or email Megan at

Pictured: Derwen College swimmers Lizzie, Helen, Dylan and Dylan check out the packed Timetable of Events for the 24-hour Spinathon.