Fire And Water

24 March 2010

BBC TV presenter Christine Bleakley may have fallen over eight times and thought she had it tough when water-skiing across the English Channel for charity recently. But she never had to contend with having to leave the waterway due to a fire alarm.

That situation faced Manchester Project Manager, David Richardson, while swimming 22 miles - equivalent to crossing the Channel - in his local swimming pool as part of Costain Energy & Process's campaign to raise money for Breast Cancer Awareness (BCA).

David, who had a close family member diagnosed with the disease last year, began his personal fund-raising effort before he learned Energy & Process was supporting the 'Wear it Pink' campaign.

Taking up a challenge advertised at his local sports centre, he set off on 1,416 lengths of the 25-metre pool.

He initially intended to complete the distance over a 12-week period, but improved his stamina so much that he was able to finish it in less than seven. He faced some obstacles not normally confronted by Channel crossers during his 15 hours of swimming, including traffic jams of slow swimmers and 'dive-bombing' youngsters. "There was even a fire alert that involved me having to evacuate outside in my Speedos!"

David's efforts raised £1,400 in sponsorship - part of the £3,500 raised by Energy & Process. Events organised by the Operations Admin team and held within Costain House included a 'Wear It Pink' day where staff raised £1,100 by dressing down for the day (and were encouraged to wear pink to show support for BCA). A competition for employees' children to design a suitable t-shirt was won by Bethany Rothwell, 9, daughter of Planning Engineer, Julie Rothwell. Costain Energy & Process donated £1,000 to make up the total.

• January's Haiti earthquake again brought Energy & Process's charitable nature to the forefront, with £1,500 being raised by a dress-down day.