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Lawyers Sink Their Teeth Into Fundraising Challenge

Fundraisers Brave Shark Infested Waters To Raise Thousands Of Pounds For Kids


By Suzanne Rutter

A team of intrepid fundraisers from a leading law firm bravely took the plunge in shark infested waters to raise money for a children’s charity celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

Lawyers diving with sharks

Fundraisers from Irwin Mitchell came face to face with 10-foot sand tiger sharks at the Blue Planet Aquarium in Cheshire for national charity KIDS, which works with disabled children and young people.

Sarah Coles, Andrew Walker, Georgina Sheldon, Tarlochan Supri, James Hemming, Nigel Bolton, Matt Brown, Dean Bestall, Carolyn Oade, Liam Riley, Scott Beckett and Fay Gould from the firm’s offices in Leeds, Sheffield and Manchester were thrown in at the deep end for the shark dive and have already raised more than £2,200 for the charity’s East Yorkshire and Humberside branch.

Sarah Coles, an associate at Irwin Mitchell’s Leeds office who took part in the dive, said: “The charity is close to all our hearts at Irwin Mitchell because they do such fantastic work with the parents and carers of youngsters with disabilities.

“The charity relies on donations and grants so we hope our fundraising efforts will help them continue their life-changing work in the East Yorkshire and Humberside region, and the support we have had has been really amazing. The figure raised is already well above £2,000, and donations just keep coming in.

“We were all incredibly nervous but excited about diving so close to the sharks and without a cage to protect us but it was a really exhilarating experience and something I don’t think we will ever forget.

“It was a great way for us to help the Hull branch mark its 25th anniversary year and we hope we have inspired other fundraisers to take on exciting challenges like this for the charity in future.  I am also attending the charity’s 25th Anniversary Ball on 15 September which I hope will be far more relaxing!”

KIDS was established nationally in 1970 by John Mulcahy, a teacher who was concerned about the development of a disabled child in one of his classes. John went on to set up Kids to encourage parents, carers and schools to work together to enable disabled children and young people to develop their skills and abilities and to fulfil their potential, hopes and aspirations.

KIDS Yorkshire and Humberside was set up in 1988 and is based at Chanterlands Avenue in Hull.

Jonathan Greenwood, a fundraiser for KIDS who helped organise the event, said: “Kids in Yorkshire and Humberside currently supports more than 1,000 families but we wouldn’t be able to continue to support disabled youngsters, their carers and families in the region without the support of fundraisers at local companies like Irwin Mitchell.

“We are incredibly impressed that the Irwin Mitchell team were brave enough to tackle this challenge as there were certainly enough razor sharp teeth to cause a stir. Thankfully the sharks had been well fed beforehand and the whole team survived the experience without becoming a tasty lunch for the aquarium’s inhabitants.”

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's work in the Community