Charity Great North Swim places available - for those who are quick!!

A North East charity is appealing for anyone who would like a place in this year’s ‘Great North Swim’ to get in touch as soon as possible as time, and charity places, are running out. 

The Great North Children’s Hospital still has places remaining for those who can commit to raise at least £200 for the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation and the charity will waive the entry fee of £40. The Foundation (part of the Newcastle Hospitals NHS Charity) supports all children’s services at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and Freeman Hospitals in Newcastle.

The Great North Swim weekend takes place on Lake Windermere in Cumbria from Friday 9th to Sunday 11th June 2017.  Although there are five different distances to choose from during the event (0.5 mile, 1 mile, 2 miles, 5k and 10k) the Great North Childrens’ Hospital charity places are available for the one mile distance which would particularly suit anyone who has not tried open water swimming before. To reserve your charity place, or for more information, contact Charitable Funds at Newcastle Hospitals on 0191 213 7235 or email charity.matters@nuth.nhs.uk

GNCH staff launch the Foundation’s involvement in the Great North Swim 2017.
L-R: Anna Stancombe, Advanced Physio; Mike McKean, Clinical Director, Children’s Services;  and Jen Townshend and Chris O’Brien, Consultant Paediatric Respiratory Specialists, GNCH

Since its first event in 2008, the Great Swim Series has grown into the largest open water swimming event series in the UK. With 22,000 competitors and 50,000 spectators, the series aims to challenge, engage and activate swimmers of all levels.

The Great North Children’s Hospital is sited at the RVI and has become a centre for excellence in children’s healthcare, providing a breadth of paediatric services greater than any other hospital outside London.  The GNCH receives referrals from many other hospitals locally and nationally who do not have the necessary expertise to treat complex conditions.

The GNCH Foundation, due to be officially launched next year, will bring together for the first time all the existing charitable funds which currently support services in children’s intensive care, cancer, burns and plastic surgery, cardiology, dermatology, rheumatology, gastroenterology, neurology, dentistry, ophthalmology and all other branches of paediatric medicine within the GNCH.

To encourage swimmers to take part on behalf of the GNCH, Consultant Paediatric Respiratory Specialists, Dr Chris O’Brien and Clinical Director, Dr Mike McKean joined other members of the Paediatric team to pose for photos to launch the event in the RVI’s hydrotherapy pool earlier this week. Dr O’Brien is himself an experienced open water swimmer and has taken part in the Great North Swim several times. He explains:

“We wanted to come up with a fundraising event for the Great North Children’s Hospital Foundation and the Great North Swim seemed the perfect opportunity.  As well as being great fun and really sociable, swimming is a fantastic form of exercise and one of the best ways to get yourself fit with the minimum impact on your joints. Our one-mile Great North Swim charity places offer people of all abilities the chance to get active and at the same time, raise money for our Great North Children’s Hospital. We want to help people to lead healthier and happier lives and make them feel great whilst at the same time, supporting this fantastic cause to make life better for all our young patients at the GNCH.

“I would urge anyone wanting to swim on our behalf, to contact us as soon as possible.  If you already have a place in the Great North Swim or want to swim a greater distance than the one mile charity places on offer, please do get in touch as we can also provide you with sponsorship forms and fundraising advice even if you don’t have an ‘official’ charity place.”

Paediatric Respiratory Consultant Anne-Marie Ebdon took part in the one mile event for the first time last year and encourages anyone thinking about doing it, to just have a go:

“I’d never done anything like this before when I set myself the personal challenge of taking part in last year’s Great North Swim one-mile distance to mark my 40th birthday.  Anyone with a basic level of fitness can do it. I started my own training regime several weeks before and had just one practice on open water before the Great North Swim. It’s such a fun event and you are encouraged and supported by everyone around you. It’s also a lovely day out for the whole family in a beautiful setting. I would thoroughly recommend to everyone to have a go.”

Please contact Charitable Funds at Newcastle Hospitals on 0191 213 7235 or email charity.matters@nuth.nhs.uk as soon as possible.


All media enquiries to:

Julie Gill, Newcastle Hospitals Charity Communications Officer 0191 213 8838 julie.gill@nuth.nhs.uk

Yasmin Crawford-Glanville, Asst Charity Communications & Media Officer, 0191 212 5267 yasmin.crawfordglanville@nuth.nhs.uk

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