A WOMAN swam the distance of the English Channel to raise money for the region’s air ambulance.
Teresa Best, 49, from High Pittington, Durham, completed 22 miles at her local pool in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).
The mother-of-four swam a whopping 1440 lengths at the Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre, over a period of eight weeks, and finished her final 2000 metres on March 3 in one hour and five minutes. She was cheered on by a “poolside posse” comprising of her daughter Natalie Best, friend Stephanie Gillespie and colleague Steph Ramsey.
Ms Best, a purchasing coordinator at Andrew James UK Ltd in Bowburn, said: “It’s been tough. I’ve never been a strong swimmer and I have no major technique but I plod on.
“I’m feeling very proud right now that I swam such a massive distance.
“One of the most frustrating parts was finding a time where I had the space in the pool to swim at my own pace without people wandering into my path or whizzing past and half drowning me. Fitting it all around a full time job and new puppy was also quite tricky.”
Ms Best has so far raised £770 for the charity which attended more than 800 missions across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria last year alone.
She said: “I’m touched by the support I’ve been given from work colleagues, friends and family but more so by complete strangers who have donated anonymously or because they know my friends and children.
“GNAAS is an invaluable service. I totally take my hat off to them. I admire everything they do and think they are an essential part of the emergency services.”
Mandy Drake, head of fundraising at GNAAS, said: “We want to say a huge well done to Teresa for her valiant efforts in completing this great feat. The money raised will go towards saving the lives of people in the region which is something to truly admire.”
To donate to the challenge visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Teresa-best