Hotel team prepares for tough battle

A TEAM of six from an Ipswich hotel is gearing up to take part in a tough physical challenge.The Swallow Belstead Brook Hotel team, headed by general manager James Jude, has been training hard ready to set off to Cumbria to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

By Amanda Cresswell

A TEAM of six from an Ipswich hotel is gearing up to take part in a tough physical challenge.

The Swallow Belstead Brook Hotel team, headed by general manager James Jude, has been training hard ready to set off to Cumbria to raise money for Guide Dogs for the Blind.

They are part of a group of 200 taking on the Cumbria Adventure Challenge on May 11.

The tough physical challenge involves climbing England's Highest Mountain – Scafell Pike, a 26 mile on and off road cycle and paddling a Canadian Canoe on a six mile stretch of Derwent water.

The team Julie Podmore, Julie Smith, Keith Harris, Jean Wheaton, James Jude and Leza Cook are looking for help in local sponsorship as they have pledged to raise a minimum of £2,400.

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Fundraising has already begun and the team held a car boot sale in the hotel grounds on Sunday to help boost the charity's funds.

Meanwhile, accounts assistant Julie Smith, 44, has been getting fit by cycling up to four times a week on top of her twice a week aerobics classes.

"When I first heard about the challenge I thought oh my goodness I shall never be able to do this," she said. "But I went away and thought about it and thought well…why not.

"We are all training in different ways. I cycle and when I can fit it in. Last night I cycled ten miles. We also had team training one Sunday where we walked for five miles and cycled for 17 miles."

The team met up with guide dog user Sharon Wight with her pooch, Quiz.

There are 200,000 visually impaired people in the UK and it costs £35,000 for each guide dog. "By raising funds we can help to give these people independence," said Mr Jude.

If you can help, or would like to book a pitch, please call the hotel on 01473 684241.

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