A community staff nurse is to take on five lakes in memory of friends, colleagues and patients who have passed away from coronavirus.
Sharon McDermott, from Melmerby, will take part in the UK-wide relay to raise funds for frontline medical staff.
“Initially I was going to do one official swim in Coniston but now I have decided to really challenge myself and undertake five swims in five different lakes in memory of the five staff members from North Cumbria Integrated Care who we lost to COVID in the pandemic,” she said.
The virtual relay is taking place across the summer and autumn and is raising funds for the Laura Hyde Foundation which provides mental health support and awareness to frontline medical workers.
The relay is free to join and you can do any activity you want for as long as you want and Sharon hopes that other members of staff will join her for some or all of her individual relay challenge.
She added: “I plan to swim Ullswater next month, Windermere and Coniston in August and then, I haven’t quite decided which other two, but it will be either Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Crummock water or Wastwater.
“I’m also doing it in memory of all those patients whose hands I have held during this awful pandemic and those friends I have lost. It has been an incredibly difficult time and if I can raise some money that will be great. I would be absolutely thrilled if colleagues would join me and together we can make a difference.
“I have always loved swimming and I found my passion for it again during the pandemic. After one particularly difficult shift, in A&E where I was working at the time, I decided I wanted to go for a swim so I took myself to a lake and had one of the most refreshing swims ever.
“I knew when I got out that this was the thing I needed to do to unwind and I have continued to this day.”
You can join the relay for free or make a donation by visiting the website: https://wrt-laurahydefoundation.org/