A big hearted Ellesmere Port man has successfully swum England’s longest lake to raise money for charity.
Steve Lawson, 55, a screenwriting lecturer from Whitby, tackled the gruelling 10.5 mile open water Lake Windermere End to End in 6 hours 52 minutes, raising £1,000.
This is being used to buy play equipment for Hayfield Primary School in Upton, Wirral.
A young family member is a pupil at the local authority specialist school which provides for pupils with social communication needs, autism or moderate learning difficulties. The funds will also help staff at the school continue to make a positive impact on the lives of their children.
Steve said: “Swimming lengths in a pool can sometimes make you feel like a hamster on a wheel whereas swimming in rivers and lakes with the ever changing landscape is exhilarating although a lot colder.”
After an earlier visit to the school he said: “I was immediately aware of the warm and inclusive environment with lots of smiling faces from both pupils and staff.
“I was fortunate enough to witness the school’s caring and fun loving ethos in action where children are treated as individuals, learning to the best of their abilities through a variety of interesting and exciting activities. The school plays a vital part in the development of the pupils teaching them skills for life.”
Hayfield primary explains it ensures that every child is respected and treated as an individual and it tries its very best ‘to see the world as the child sees it and work from their starting point’.
Steve was one of 130 swimmers who took part in the annual event with each competitor requiring 1 to 1 kayak support for the duration of the swim.
“Due to the time spent in the water, kayak support is vital to safely navigate the swimmers through the waterborne traffic and offer emergency assistance if required,” added Steve.
“In addition they provide the three essentials for long distance swims, drinks, food and encouragement.”
Steve, a regular swimmer for over 30 years, spent the summer training in lakes and rivers in preparation for his mammoth challenge.
He said “Two weeks prior to the event I swam eight miles with no difficulties so I was confident I could complete the distance.
“However there is always the worry you could suffer cramp or sickness. Fortunately everything went to plan, I even got to enjoy the scenery although the only thing I wanted to see after 10 miles was the finish line.”
Steve has presented the cheque to Hayfield primary in front of a packed school assembly.
“Seeing all the smiling children and knowing they will benefit from the money raised kept me going through the many hours spent in the water these past six months and made all the hard work worthwhile,” he concluded.