Sixty pupils tackle Great North Swim and raise £4,500 for GNAAS


A team of sixty school pupils have raised £4,500 for their local air ambulance by tackling the Great North Swim. The first-time open water swimmers, from Sedbergh School in Cumbria, braved the harsh temperatures of Lake Windermere to complete a one-mile stretch across its waters on June 14. Pupils, staff and parents all took the plunge, alongside thousands of other charity swimmers. Competition in the school was high and overall their ladies team won by three minutes. Faye Barker, science teacher and organiser, said: “For many it was their first event in open water and they were terrified of what lies beneath, but all were keen to take on the challenge and raise money for such a good cause.

A team of sixty school pupils have raised £4,500 for their local air ambulance by tackling the Great North Swim.

The first-time open water swimmers, from Sedbergh School in Cumbria, braved the harsh temperatures of Lake Windermere to complete a one-mile stretch across its waters on June 14.

Pupils, staff and parents all took the plunge, alongside thousands of other charity swimmers.

Competition in the school was high and overall their ladies team won by three minutes.

Faye Barker, science teacher and organiser, said: “For many it was their first event in open water and they were terrified of what lies beneath, but all were keen to take on the challenge and raise money for such a good cause.  

“In the weeks beforehand we worked on swimmers’ acclimatisation, confidence, pace and technique. Afterwards, everyone was buzzing. They loved it.

“Many pupils and families in and around Sedbergh have benefitted from the Great North Air Ambulance Service which we are eternally grateful for.  As a charity, they are reliant on the generosity of people to keep them going.”

Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at the air ambulance charity, said: “We want to say a huge thank you to the team for braving the icy waters. The funds raised will go directly towards keeping our helicopters up in the air and this will without a doubt save lives in the region.”

The charity operates the Pride of Cumbria aircraft which is based at Langwathby. It needs to raise £4.5m every year to stay operational.

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