Swimmers made a big splash for charities

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FUNDRAISERS from Spalding and Donington have taken the plunge at the Great North Swim to raise more than £2,600 for good causes.

Friends Neil Gornall and James Le Sage, both from Spalding, and mother and son duo Sue and William Holland-Leavens, from Donington, were among the 10,000 swimmers who took part in the mile-long event on Lake Windermere.

Neil, James and William had all been due to take part last year but their plans were scuppered when the event was cancelled due to dangerous levels of poisonous blue algae.

Neil and James were joined on the swim by their friend Mark Seaborn, previously of Spalding.

James said: “After last year’s disappointment we were glad to be taking part, despite the nerves, and all of us managed to post reasonable times.

“But it was more about the experience and raising funds for charity. We would like to thank our supporters and sponsors.”

Their efforts resulted in £1,000 for Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance and a further £1,000 for Parkinson’s research which has great significance as their mutual friend Matt Winspear suffers from the condition.

Sue and William took on the course with former Crowland resident Margaret Barker.

Sue, who only started swimming earlier this year, clocked a time of two hours and five minutes, while William completed the swim in 34 minutes and Margaret in 49 minutes.

“The organisation was great and because I was last in my wave, I had my own personal kayaker,” she said. “It was really good. Slow and steady.”

They raised more than £600 for Cerebral Palsy Sport, a charity which has supported William with his competitive swimming in the UK and abroad in the past.

William has hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy which affects the left side of his body.

Sue added: “We are very grateful to everyone who sponsored us.”