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Lawyer Takes The Plunge In Open Water For Fundraising Challenge

Elaine’s Sea Swim Raises Money For The Meningitis Trust


Suzanne Rutter

An adventurous fundraiser from a leading law firm has raised more than £1,500 for charity after taking part in the first of two daring open water swimming challenges.

Elaine Russell, a partner in the personal injury team at Irwin Mitchell’s Glasgow office, has raised £1,677.50 so far after taking the plunge at Elie Bay in Fife for the Meningitis Trust Big Swim.

Elaine threw herself into the deep end to practice for the one-mile challenge by training in the icy waters at Loch Lomond and at Troon on the west coast as well as swimming three times a week at her local pool. She completed the Big Swim mile in 54 minutes.

Elaine said: “The Meningitis Trust is a charity close to all our hearts at Irwin Mitchell because it does such fantastic work for people who have suffered meningitis. The charity relies heavily on donations and grants so I hope my fundraising efforts will help them continue their life-changing work in Scotland and throughout the UK.

“I couldn’t swim very far at all, even in a pool, and I’d never done any open water swimming before training for this event. The main challenge was completing the distance in the cold, choppy waters at Elie Bay, which was incredibly difficult in comparison to swimming at my local pool and the weather conditions.

“There were 43 mile per hour gusts of winds and organisers almost called off the event. Some people didn’t manage it and had to be rescued so I’m really proud to have completed the mile, despite swallowing what seemed like pints of sea water and suffering from sea sickness on the way round!

“There was a great atmosphere at the event despite the conditions and I’m really pleased I took part and pushed myself to do something new and exciting for charity. Thanks to everyone who sponsored me I’ve managed to raise far more than I expected.”

Joanna Stevenson, community fundraising coordinator for the Meningitis Trust, said all the participants were rewarded with a medal and hot lunch following the swim.

She said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people taking part in our Big Swim despite the challenging weather. All the money raised from the sponsorship will help us address the fear of meningitis and give hope to families who have been devastated by the illness. Thanks to Elaine for taking part and her fundraising efforts.”

Elaine will be taking part in her second open water event, the Great Scottish Swim at Loch Lomond for the Glasgow office charity of the year, Maggie’s Cancer Care, on Saturday, 24 August 2013.

To sponsor Elaine, visit www.justgiving.com/elainerussellswim