TWO men, two sea-swims, and one charity is what it’s all about this April as Lewis residents Colin Macleod and Callum Maclean take to the Harris’ seas to raise money for The Leanne Fund.
Hoping to undertake the challenge on April 6th (although weather-dependant), Colin and Callum will start the day swimming the one and a half miles from Hushinish to the Island of Scarp.
It is then on with the walking boots to walk to Scarp village before back to the water to return to the Harris mainland and another trek over the mountain path to finish once again at Hushinish.
A strong swimmer since his youth, Colin experienced the freedom and enjoyment of sea-swimming as part of a team who tackled the TalkTalk Little Minch Swim in 2011.
Callum however has only recently returned to the water, but is determined to complete the challenge due to a family connection with Scarp.
Colin explains: “I could tell from the moment he found out about it that he was very keen to do it. His father’s family lived on Scarp, eventually moving to a settlement near Hushinish.
“The swim is going to be a challenge for him, not just because of the distance, but due to the current and chop. Callum has been to Hushinish plenty of times but has never set foot on the island. He’s flown over it and been in a boat between Scarp and Hushinish but this April he’s devoted to swimming across to Scarp under his own steam.”
In the afternoon Colin will jump into the chilly-seas once again, this time for a two and a half mile swim from Horgabost to the island of Taransay, made famous by the 2000 BBC reality series ‘Castaway’.
“As this is just a straight swim with no walking it might sound easier than the morning, but I’ll be praying that the current is not too heavy going and will be swimming in an arc to compensate as you do with most sea swims,” Colin expands.
“Both of these islands are famous for their own particular reasons, and both of which I intend to land on very soon!”
Colin and Callum are swimming to raise money for The Leanne Fund, a charity established in 2009 in memory of late Point resident Leanne Mitchell which aims to create happy memories for young Cystic Fibrosis sufferers in the Highlands and Islands.
Working under Leanne’s motto ‘Because life is 4 living’, the grant-giving body funds special treats for those 25 years and younger who live with the daily struggles of CF.
Simple pleasures such as finding further independence through driving lessons, enjoying a night out at a music concert, fulfilling the dream of a music recording session or taking a holiday with family are just a few of the special occasions made possible by The Leanne Fund – all representing Leanne’s own heartfelt desire to bring happiness to others.
And it’s the determination and aims of the Fund which have inspired Colin and Callum to lend their support as Colin adds: “Hopefully I can raise plenty of money for The Leanne Fund which is a very worthy charity.
“Chrisetta and Willie Mitchell from the Fund have been very supportive, and to the rest of the crew who are giving up their time to be there on the day, I’d also like to say a big thank you in advance.”
If you would like to reward Colin and Callum for their sea-swim challenge by donating to The Leanne Fund, visit their JustGiving webpage at www.justgiving.com/Scaransay or call Colin on 07891917765.
And to find out more about the work of The Leanne Fund, log onto www.theleannefund.co.uk You can also keep up-to-date with Fund happenings on the charity’s Facebook and Twitter pages.