TAUNTON Swimathon is back early next year - with a difference.

The popular event is being relaunched as a joint venture between the Taunton Soroptimists, Taunton 41 Club and the Taunton Round Table.

It is taking place again at Taunton Preparatory School Pool on Saturday and Sunday, February 10 and 11.

A spokesperson for the event said: "We are very grateful for Taunton School's very generous continued sponsorship."

Each organisation has chosen a local charity and all the money raised will be divided equally between the three of them.

The charities are Young Somerset, Ups and Downs South West and the Somerset Counselling Centre.

Since the event started 33 years ago, more than £667,000 has been raised for local charities and organisers are looking forward to raising substantial sponsorship for this year's chosen charities.

The spokesperson said: "The many people who have participated before will already know, but for new entrants we want you to know that it is a real fun event, everyone has a great time and it only takes an hour out of your weekend.

"You need to be aged eight or over to take part - we don't have an upper age limit.

"You really don't have to be a good swimmer. You just need to be able to swim 50 metres - two lengths of the pool - as teams of six swim in relay fashion for 53 minutes.

SIGN UP: Click here to book your slot.

"It doesn't matter what stroke you swim, if you swim doggy paddle or crawl or if your team swims 20 laps or 80 and there is no diving involved either.

"It's all about having fun while raising money for local good causes."

Every swimmer gets a medal, there are lots of trophies to be won and it is still only £10 per team to enter.

Lots of organisations, schools, friends and families have taken part year on year and it is hoped they will be joined by several new teams this year.

You can enter now by reserving your place on the Taunton Swimathon website, where you will find all the necessary information to book and donate.