Cumbria Crack

Cumbria NHS worker undertakes epic challenges to say thank you

Aliister Swinco

[A]n NHS IT worker has dedicated this past year to completing adventurous challenges in the name of charity.

Back in 2007, Aliister Swinco’s world came crashing down when he was carrying heavy boxes and, already injured, his kidney ruptured and he needed hospital treatment quickly.

Allistair, who works in the IT department for Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “I was in quite a bad way but the service that the Air ambulance provided was outstanding and I was so relieved that, even though I collapsed in the north east they flew me to my home town of Carlisle for immediate treatment.”

This catastrophic event encouraged him to turn his long term hobby of adventure water sports into a series of challenges that greatly benefit others. He has dedicated the past 2 years to undertaking epic challenges to raise money for charity using his new found love of paddle boarding.

He explains: “So far me and my partner Alison have completed over 15 challenges totalling over 2000km across the country, including the world’s largest paddleboard race against 700 other competitors in December 2016. We took on the ‘magnificent 7’ in August 2016 which is a paddleboard race across the 7 longest lochs in Scotland over 7 days. I was also a guide for a blind paddle boarder, and this inspired me to push myself even further and take on new more adventurous challenges.”

In November Allistair is taking on more impressive challenges in the name of charity. He will be completing a series of races including a gruelling 404km race across Australia. Allistair explains why he’s taking on these epic challenges:

“It will be a big challenge for us and by far the toughest to date paddling an average of 80km per day. I feel that we do so much for ourselves and it’s time we gave something back I want to help inspire others and I’m passionate about being able make a difference no matter how small.”

Allistair and Alison are raising money for the Great North Air Ambulance and the ‘Red dust’ charity based in Australia.

Allistair said: “It is only fitting that I have also chosen a charity in the amazing country we will be paddling through. ‘Red Dust’ help to break the cycle of poor health by delivering innovative health promotion programs and community development projects in partnership with remote indigenous communities.

“We are lucky to have just received support from Royal Brunei Airlines and they have very kindly given us two free flights to Australia to help us compete in the Massive Murray 404km race.”

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