5k Across the Bay, new date: Sunday 8 September 2024

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The 5k Across the Bay open water swim will now take place on Sunday 8 September. The same great event, but with a new date!

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity in partnership with Sureswim Kernow and this year, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, will run the event with the route stretching across the waters of Falmouth Bay. The charity, non-commercial event, will take place with thanks to local surf life saving clubs and local volunteers giving their time in support.

With places limited at 50, the event is not just a chance to take on a personal challenge, the main emphasis is to raise funds and awareness for two Cornish charities.

Swimmers, who must be experienced open water swimmers, will choose from supporting Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity, in which case funds will support staff wellbeing initiatives at the NHS Trust.

“During the pandemic, the importance of NHS staff wellbeing was really pushed to the forefront of people’s minds and today there is no less importance on their health and wellbeing and the impact it has not only on themselves, but also on the care they are able to provide to our growing local population,” said Karen Murrish, Fundraising Manager, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity.

Ward staff at Royal Cornwall Hospital.

“The Health and Wellbeing Team work with staff across the Trust everyday across a myriad of projects and initiatives to support our staff, but of course there is always more that can be done, explains Alex May, Wellbeing Co-ordinator at RCHT.

“Funds raised through the swim will enable additional support for our staff. This could be through training more staff to add to our team of incredibly valuable mental health first aiders, who recognise and help colleagues in need, or to provide much needed and requested staff morale and wellbeing activities, that have an incredible connective and restorative effect,” she adds.

Event partners for 2024, Cornwall Wildlife Trust, will use money raised to boost the Ocean Emergency Fund, helping to secure the future of the fascinating – but fragile – marine habitats and species around the Cornwall coast.

The Trust are fitting event partners as the challenge route takes place exclusively in the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation, an international designation afforded to protect the marine environment.

Matt Slater of Cornwall Wildlife Trust explains the importance of the area, “Both habitats are critical nursery areas for many familiar and commercially important fish species, including bass, scallops, rays, and cuttlefish. They are also invaluable in the fight against climate change due to their extraordinary ability to store “blue carbon”. As the swimmers pass Stack Point, they will be passing over one of the UK’s best examples of the incredibly rare and “irreplaceable” maerl beds.”

A group of Bass swimming at Swanpool.

Matt goes on to explain how funds raised through the event will support his fragile environment.

“By participating in this event for the Trust’s Ocean Emergency Fund, swimmers will help us to create a future where Cornwall’s marine life can thrive, through funding a varied range of marine conservation work,” said Matt Slater, Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Starting at Rosemullion Head, the route passes in front of the beaches of Nansidwell, Maenporth, Swanpool and Gyllngvase, before ending at Silver Steps on Pendennis Head.

“This event is a unique opportunity to swim this distance across the beautiful area of Falmouth Bay whilst raising vital funds for relevant local causes. We are hugely reliant on support from local surf life savers and community volunteers to make the event a success,” said Clare Lewis of Sureswim Kernow.

“Our event team are also putting a call out to the local businesses that line the route to ask for their support in recognition of the importance of looking after our fragile environment,” Clare added.

“Last year, 5k Across the Bay raised over £15,000 and we hope to smash that amount for this year’s event,” said Karen Murrish, Fundraising Manager for Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity.

A group of swimmers at the finish line of 5K Across the Bay 2023.

Places are limited to 50 swimmers. Registration is £50 per swimmer and in addition there is a requirement to raise funds for Cornwall Wildlife Trust or RCHT Charity.

Swimmers are asked to register on the 5k Across the Bay registration form.

Further information on the event organisers can be found in the links below:

Cornwall Wildlife Trust

Royal Cornwall Hospitals Charity

Sureswim Kernow

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