A COCKERMOUTH woman who guides lake swims boosted mountain rescue funds by organising a New Year's Day dip.

Suzanna Cruickshank runs Suzanna Swims and takes people open water and wild swimming in the Lake District.

Eighteen people joined her in Bassenthwaite Lake on January 1. Wetsuits and bobble hats were the order of the day although Suzanna braved the bitter temperatures in a swimming cossie.

"I asked for a suggested donation of £5 however they all gave very generously to raise £200," said Suzanna, who last year excelled in the Winter World Swimming Championship in Estonia.

"I chose to split it between Keswick and Cockermouth as a lot of my work is in areas covered by these teams.

"Mountain Rescue do an amazing job, often in unenviable conditions. Whilst we are out getting cold and wet for fun there is an element of risk involved.

"I have various certificates and training that let me do my job and keep clients safe but it’s great to know mountain rescue are there if we needed them."

Everyone enjoyed cake and warm drinks following the dip.

"There was a mix of regulars and a few new faces with several people having got up at 6am to drive from Lancashire," said Suzanna.

"I’m really grateful to my growing group of regulars who have supported my business which is why I asked for a donation instead of charging swimmers for this festive swim. "

She set up her business (www.suzannaswims.co.uk) two years ago and offers relaxed guiding for all abilities in beautiful locations.

Suzanna, in trademark swimming cossie and bobble hat, presented a cheque to John Hunston (fully clothed), of the Keswick team, at Derwentwater.