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Video/Gallery: Great East Swim sees thousands take part in charity fundraiser at Alton Water

PUBLISHED: 16:09 21 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:23 23 June 2014

Swimmers enjoyed the sunshine for the Great East Swim at Alton Water.

Swimmers enjoyed the sunshine for the Great East Swim at Alton Water.

Sarah Lucy brown

Swimmers of all ages and abilities made a splash raising money for charity by taking up the challenge of the Great East Swim.

Swimmers enjoyed the sunshine for the Great East Swim at Alton Water.
EADT and Star journalist Matthew Symington before the swim. Swimmers enjoyed the sunshine for the Great East Swim at Alton Water. EADT and Star journalist Matthew Symington before the swim.

There were clear skies overhead as the brave wetsuit-clad fundraisers leapt into the Alton Water reservoir.

The waters were relatively calm as the masses went round the different half-mile, mile, two mile and five kilometre courses.

Stewart Butcher, 27, from Elmsett and sister Sam, 30, from Hadleigh, took on the half-mile swim for the first time.

He said: “It was good fun, it was not too cold. We decided to start at the back so we didn’t get kicked too much. I would do it again, maybe the one mile next time.”

Sam and Stewart Butcher after completing the Great East Swim Sam and Stewart Butcher after completing the Great East Swim

The duo have raised money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star reporter, Matthew Symington, also took part in the half-mile route.

“The swim was tough but a great challenge. The atmosphere beforehand was relaxed and not too intimidating which was nice. Everything was very well organised and very safe which I thought was really good.

“I’d been doing some training but wasn’t too sure how it would go until the day so was pleased with my time of 18 minutes and 23 seconds.”

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The family of a seven-year-old girl from Bury St Edmunds in urgent need of a stem cell transplant is calling for as many people as possible to join the register.

Friendships were forged as children celebrated their school becoming the newest member of an academy trust.

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