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Bakkavor backs Newark swimmers' English Channel swim for dementia research

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Four Newark swimmers with a combined age of 226 will take on the English Channel for dementia research.

Phil Field, a long-serving Bakkavor employee, along with Pete Moyes, Theresa Tomlinson and Anne Marie Lawrence may set a new world record for being the oldest mixed relay quadruplet to ever do the relay swim.

The Newark team will take to the waters for what is anticipated to be a 16-hour swim from the south coast of England to the north coast of France on July 3.

The four swimmers will be taking on the English Channel. Credit: Google Earth (56867068)
The four swimmers will be taking on the English Channel. Credit: Google Earth (56867068)

In the lead up, Bakkavor is backing the team — providing them with the essential equipment needed for the big day, sponsoring the swimwear and supporting them with their recovery afterwards.

The group has been swimming recreationally in cold waters for a number of years but 2022 marks their biggest challenge yet.

And what started as a personal challenge soon developed into an opportunity to help those affected by dementia, as Dementia Research is a charity particularly close to hearts of the swimmers who have loved ones, family and friends that have been affected by it.

Phil, OPEX manager at Bakkavor, said: “If you told me five years ago that I’d be swimming the channel I wouldn’t have believed you, but once the seed was sown, we just swam with it.

“The training has been intense and really rewarding to see our progress as well. It’s amazing how the body can adapt — from the shock of my first cold water swim to where we are now — and I’m so looking forward to the big day.

Bakkavor Newark. (41229400)
Bakkavor Newark. (41229400)

“As a team we have a lot of experience with dementia among our family and friends, so swimming for Dementia Research UK was such a natural and obvious fit. “

“I’m so grateful to Bakkavor for their continued support throughout all our training and as we get closer to the event. It really is amazing to feel so supported and without business backing some of these dreams never get a chance to come true.”

So far, the team has raised £500 for the charity and further donations are being welcomed. Donate at www.justgiving.com/team/RobinHoodswimmers

Phil is also fundraising at the Newark Bakkavor site, raising funds locally for the Balderton Salvation Army. Bakkavor is also donating £450 to the charity.

Andrzej Szokalski, general manager at Bakkavor Desserts Newark, said: “We are so proud to see Phil, a valued and long-standing member of our Bakkavor team, take on such an impressive and commendable challenge.

“We are really pleased to be sponsoring the event and we have had a lot of fun sourcing all the equipment, from swimming hats to energy gels — whatever we can do to help the team cross the finish line.

“Dementia is something that so many of us can relate to and have experience of, we know it is close to home for the team as well. We wish Phil, Pete, Theresa and Anne Marie all the very best of luck with the swim across the Channel and we will continue to support them all the way home.”

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