ELLESMERE'S Mere will once again be the scene of a giant fundraising activity at the end of the summer, with funds going towards friends of a local hospital.

The League of Friends (LoF) to The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) are encouraging Ellesmere residents ­— and beyond – to take the plunge and sign up for their open water swim fundraiser.

The Mere Mile, taking place on August 30 – a Bank Holiday Monday – at the Mere, Ellesmere, follows on from the success of last year’s event, where more than 100 swimmers raised £8,500 for the benefit of RJAH.

Nicola Bainbridge, Swimfinity founder and its head coach, said her group is looking forward to working with the LoF this year.

She added: “We’re delighted to work in conjunction with LoF again to bring you this year’s Mere Mile.

"We’ve increased the number of swimmers this year and it’s our ambition to double the amount raised.

“We’d also be happy to hear from any experienced kayakers who may want to join the event crew providing safety and support cover on the day.”

More than 40 volunteers dedicated their time to help with the running of the event in 2020, including members of Borderlands and Ellesmere Rotary Clubs, safety boat crews and over 20 kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders who took to the water to ensure the swimmers were kept safe throughout.

In 2021, participants are able to choose between two distances; one mile or 2.5 miles while entry numbers for each category are limited to 200 swimmers to undertake the mile swim and 100 for the 2.5 miles.

Each participant will receive an event swim hat, goodie bag and finishers memento.

Victoria Sugden, LoF charity director, said: “We were thrilled at the sheer number of people who wanted to get involved and support us last year with our first Mere Mile.

“This year is going to be even bigger and better so we encourage entrants to secure their space, grab their goggles and get ready to take part in a fabulous fun day!

“All funds raised will go towards improvements for patients and staff at our much loved hospital.”

To register to become a swimmer or to join the event crew as a kayaker contact rjah.communityfundraising@nhs.net or call 01691 404401

To make a donation and support the fundraising event, head to www.justgiving.com/campaign/meremile2021