A MAN has given the funds he raised swimming in icy water on a Cumbrian lake to the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The spectacle took place on a chilly winter morning, aptly named the Big Chill Swim, on the shores of Lake Windermere, in the Lake District.
The water was less than five degrees, and more than 580 participants travelled from near and far to compete in the races on Saturday 1st February.
Bruce Evans, 53, from Windermere, was one of the hundreds to take part, swimming the 30m breast stroke.
When asked about the race, Mr Evans, a GNAAS volunteer, said: “It was cold and wet. There was a gale force wind blowing and I could see the snow on the top of the Langdale Pikes.
“I read about the swim and thought who in their right mind does that. And then here I am.”
He raised £400 for the charity, taking his total from the swim to more than £1,100, after braving the freezing temperatures the previous year too.
Event organiser, Colin Hill, said taking part in the sport was “an amazing, life-affirming experience”.
“Winter swimming can seem like a very odd idea to the uninitiated but the sense of wellbeing and exhilaration you get when you have finished the swim is quite incredible. All your endorphins kick in”, he said.
Mr Evans has been a volunteer at GNAAS for 12 months. He said: “I thoroughly enjoy the work I do with the life-saving charity, especially hearing people’s stories that they like to share with you when you’re out fundraising.”