An all-women team from Altrincham Leisure Centre has completed the 26-mile Northumberland Mighty Hike, raising money for Macmillan in memory of their former colleague, swimming teacher, Elaine, who died of cancer in November 2018.

Jenny, 63, Diane, 59, Sarah 43 and Sammy, 37, who work on the reception and as a duty manager at Altrincham Leisure Centre, took just under 12 hours to complete the 26-mile hike, including generous pit stops and quite a lengthy lunch stop, raising £1,672.09 in sponsorships and donations.

Trafford Leisure has been actively supporting the Macmillan charity in Greater Manchester in 2019 and has organised various fundraising activities throughout the year, so far raising £2,101.

Elaine worked as a swimming teacher at Altrincham Leisure Centre for over 30 years, and was a well-loved member of staff, adored by both her colleagues and customers.

She has taught thousands of local children across Trafford to swim over the years and is greatly missed by all, said staff at the leisure centre

Jenny, who works on reception at Altrincham Leisure Centre said: “We were really excited to be taking part in this walk, and started training, making small changes to our daily routines to incorporate more walking.

"The 26-mile route had spectacular scenery, taking in the beautiful views across Northumberland, starting at Alnwick Castle and then out towards the coast to finish at Bamburgh Castle.

"We supported each other through the walk, there was such a fantastic atmosphere. The care and support that the Macmillan team offered along the length of the route was phenomenal; the route was well signposted and they provided plenty of water bottle filling stations as well as a huge variety of food.

“It was a hot day, which made conditions extremely tough; we all suffered with blisters, a touch of sun burn and were very stiff the next day. But we thoroughly enjoyed a glass of bubbles at the end of the hike, toasting our friend and colleague, Elaine.

Jo Cherrett, COO, Trafford Leisure said: “We are extremely proud of our fantastic team of hikers: 26-miles is no mean feat. Walking is a wonderful form of exercise that is low impact and suitable for all, and this hike goes to show that anyone can do it! Macmillan is a wonderful and compassionate charity that supports so many local people at their time of need. We are grateful for the money raised and want to thank staff and customers for their generosity.

"Elaine was a very special member of our team, who was just 60 when she passed away, leaving behind a husband and two children. Elaine was an advocate for physical actively, especially swimming. She has helped generations of children to learn to swim, which is a fantastic legacy to honour.”

Trafford Leisure Community Interest Company Ltd (Trafford Leisure) was established in September 2015 to provide leisure services and recreational activities at the major Trafford Council facilities. It employs more than 400 qualified staff and attracts more than two million visitors a year."