Charity boost from St Kilda Swim 2015

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The successful St Kilda Swim 2015 team recently handed over donations to four worthy charities after raising a total of £21,505.

Swim Team Captain, Colin Macleod, said: “A big thank you to everyone who donated to the St Kilda Swim 2015 challenge – you have all made a great difference to four brilliant charities.”

The team of seven swimmers, along with three support kayakers and support vessel MV Cuma from Island Cruising, completed the 60mile swim route from Village Bay, Hirta, St Kilda, to Huishinish in Harris in August.

Leaving Hirta at around 4am on Monday, August 17th, the St Kilda Swim team landed on Huishinish slipway just after 3pm on Tuesday, August 18th – taking only 35 hours to finish a swim which had been postponed three times due to bad weather.

During the challenge, the team were joined by a large pod of dolphins, and swimmer John Dyer encountered a 25ft Minkie whale which swam around 20ft beneath him!

Further funds were raised for charity through the St Kilda Swim Song, penned and recorded by young songstress Rosie Sullivan.

Members of the swim team in Stornoway recently had great pleasure in handing over donations of £5,772.14 to the Fishermen’s Mission (featured in last week’s Gazette) and £5,620.68 to the Leanne Fund.

Established on the Isle of Lewis in 2009 in memory of Leanne Mitchell, the Leanne Fund provides finance for special treats and experiences for young people suffering from Cystic Fibrosis, and their families, in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.

On the mainland, St Kilda swimmer John Dyer was over the moon to present donations of £7,568.43 to Yorkhill Children’s Charity, the fundraising body which aims to improve children’s health by providing services and equipment for the Yorkhill NHS Trust Hospitals.

And John also visited the Aberlour Child Care Trust – the largest, solely Scottish, children’s charity which provides help to over 6,000 of Scotland’s most vulnerable children, young people and families – to present donations of £2,543.77.

Pictured are the members of the St Kilda Swim team presenting Willie and Chrisetta Mitchell, parents of the late Leanne Mitchell, with the Leanne Fund donation.