An open water fundraising challenge has raised an incredible £8500 for League of Friends to the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH).

The Mere Mile, which was opened by Ellesmere town’s Mayor, Paul Goulbourne, took place on Saturday 12th September and saw over 100 swimmers take the plunge and attempt to swim a mile in Ellesmere’s Mere.

Swimmers on the day included recreational swimmers, many of which trained specifically for the event, along with club swimmers from across the Midlands and an elite group from Ellesmere College Titans.

The fundraising event was sponsored by Swimfinity, who offer coached open water swimming sessions for individuals and groups at The Mere, and supported by an array of local organisations.

Nicola Bainbridge, Swimfinity founder and head coach, said: “This event was a real team effort and we would like to thank everyone who participated in the day. We’re so proud to support the League of Friends – what a deserving local cause.”

Over 40 volunteers also dedicated their time to help with the running of the event, including members of the Borderlands and Ellesmere Rotary Clubs, safety boat crews and over 20 kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders who took to the water to ensure the swimmers were kept safe throughout.

Victoria Sugden, Charity Director, said: “Thank you to all the amazing swimmers who took part on the day, we are so incredibly grateful to them.

“The event was a huge success thanks to many people supporting behind the scenes, in particular Swimfinity, Tim Hunter (Mere Tim), Ellesmere Town Council, Martin and Jones Marketing, Mere Motors, RV Shipping, Ellesmere Co-op, The Red Lion and of course all of the volunteers, supporters and our fantastic team.”

Pictured: Hannah Howells (Office Manager for RJAH Estates & Facilities) and Anna Unsworth (LOF Community Fundraising Officer).