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Blue Tits swimming group swim and sing their way to fundraising target

A group of Pocklington women are currently singing themselves around the cold waters of their local lake, as training for their next fundraising event.

The nine-strong swimming group, fondly known as the ‘Blue Tits’, want to raise as much money as possible for St Leonard’s Hospice this year, by taking part in the Great North Swim. As members of a local choir, they also find that singing, whilst swimming, helps keep up their morale.

“We sing one stroke and one note at a time to get through the challenge,” said Angela Raby, swim leader of the ‘Blue Tits’.

They decided to take up the one-mile open water challenge on June 8, after hearing how so many people benefited from the care of their local hospice. And the Blue Tits are now training twice a week at nearby Allerthorpe Lake.

The Blue Tits include:  Angela Raby, Helen Anthony, Jane Robinson, Sarah Best, Sue Lowndes, Lauren Fox, Michelle Mook, Lesley Gamble and Becky Lowndes

Lesley Gamble, one of the swimmers who volunteers in the St Leonard’s Hospice shop in Pocklington, explained: “Since volunteering in the shop, I’ve realized the broad reach it has in our community, touching so many people’s lives. I’m in awe of how many customers have said that St Leonard’s has made a big difference to their families, appreciating the love and support that they have been given, during difficult times in their lives. So, I recommended this charity to our group, as the work they do is amazing. So, it’s our charity of choice this year for our sponsored swim.”

Angela continued: “We’re training hard for the event in June, aiming to complete the mile course. It really doesn’t come naturally to any of us, which makes it a real challenge. Raising as much money for St Leonard’s Hospice as possible will make it all worthwhile.”

The group completed the half mile route across Lake Windermere last year and are now aiming to double the distance by completing the one-mile route in the Great North Swim on 8 June this year.

“Last year we took on the challenge for the first time and overcame physical and mental challenges to achieve their goal. Not only did we all finish the swim together, but, much to the annoyance of some other swimmers, we swam and sung most of the way round! This year we will be pulling on our wetsuits again and pushing ourselves even further,” said Angela.

James Wainwright, head of fundraising at St Leonard’s Hospice, said: “St Leonard’s has the support of so many people who are fundraising in so many different ways. This special challenge is amazing – not only is the group stretching themselves physically and mentally, but they are doing it for a charity dear to their hearts. We wish them well for their challenge in June. It’s thanks to such fantastic support that we can be here for the patients, families and carers who need our care. Please help by giving what you can to this brilliant fundraising effort!”

To sponsor the Blue Tits please visit their Justgiving page: