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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.”

Firefighters tackled a two-car blaze in Haverhill after a suspect was seen setting one alight by a member of the public.

A damning dossier compiled by a senior whistleblower from the region’s ambulance trust has claimed at least 40 patients died or were harmed due to delays over Christmas and New Year - including one person who froze to death.

Two high-end cycles – worth £10,000 in total – were stolen after burglars broke into a garage in Elmsett, near Hadleigh.

A senior whistleblower within the region’s ambulance trust has claimed up to 80 people could have died or come to harm because of delays over the Christmas and New Year period.

Staff and students at Colchester Academy are celebrating their success after the school received its first ever ‘Good’ Ofsted inspection.

A toddler has been rushed to hospital with a fractured skull after a serious crash in Barningham this morning.

A celebrity hairdresser visited West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds to give a masterclass to students and answer questions on the industry.

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