On Saturday 18th June two best friends successfully attempted the Great North Swim to raise much needed funds for CALM. The lads swam in memory of their best friend who they tragically lost on Easter Sunday and who they wished had taken the opportunity to share what he was going through.
Their hope is that by helping to promote CALM and raise as much money as possible that other young men who are secretly struggling can find the help they need before it is too late.
Team Meat’s swim was a mile long in chilly lake Windermere, with the event being shown live on the BBC. Here’s their post event update:
“As the morning sunshine glimmered across Lake Windermere the fact that the big day was finally here hit home for all members of Team Meat, both swimmers and supporters.
The whole day was a leap into the unknown with neither of us having attempted anything like it before.
We were about to compete in the great north swim in memory of our best friend Olly aka The Meat Man who loved the event and more importantly fundraising through it.
Olly was a keen fundraiser particularly for Cancer charities after tragically losing his beloved Mum at a young age.
Fundraising was just one example of how Olly always put others and their feelings first.
So with very mixed emotions we donned our very figure hugging wetsuits and joined the 10,000 other brave souls who were attempting the challenge over the weekend.
The mile long course looked further than anything we had ever seen and certainly nothing like the comfy warm surroundings of our local pool.
The race was split into “waves” of 300 swimmers every half an hour with team meat part of the blue wave. The best way to describe the start was like 100 people jumping into your lane at the swimming pool and then someone turning off the lights.
Very daunting but equally very exciting.
After the scramble of the start we managed to settle into a rhythm of swimming, overwhelmed by the beauty of the open water setting.
It was also a time of reflection and contemplation – so many unanswered questions and regrets, so much sadness and grief.
But just as the midday sun started to poke through the clouds there was also a realisation that it was a day of celebration and remembrance.
We had tragically lost our best friend on Easter Sunday but the legacy of such a great man and the countless memories of good times shared will live on and on.
We were also very aware of the fundraising challenge we had set ourselves to try and raise a target of £500 for CALM. Our hope being that if we could help to fund the phone line that others would be saved instead of losing more young men through suffering in silence.
As after what seemed hours in the water the finish line finally came into sight and the final push for home commenced. With a mixture of tears and cheers we had made it and in the process we had beaten our original target and our both very proud to announce we raised £3250 for CALM.
Today we go forward, supporting each other and overcoming small hurdles one at a time.”
The link to their fundraising page can be found below if you want to donate: