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Community / Daily sea swim challenge raises more than a thousand for church project

Money raised will go towards plans to revamp the dormant science building at the old Anderson High School

Terri Mackay.

A DIP a day in Shetland’s seas in the month of May has seen a woman raise more than £1,200 for a proposed new community church in Lerwick.

Terri Mackay has been swimming in the sea each day this month to support New Life Church’s plans to take on the vacant science block at the old Anderson High School.

Her total raised so far has smashed the initial target of £300.

Mackay, 58, said she is just doing her bit for the church – but with the old science block plans estimated to cost between £350,000 and £500,000, the fundraiser said her efforts are a “drop in the ocean” overall.

Reflecting on her fundraising campaign with one week to go, Mackay said the challenge has gone well.

As expected, there has been some days of poor weather – “but I will go out because that’s what I’m committed to doing”, she said.

Mackay said she only started going sea swimming as an adult in January after being encouraged by a friend.

“I really enjoyed it,” she added. “It was January this year, so you can only imagine how cold it was.”

The fundraiser’s campaign has seen her swim in seas across Shetland’s coastline, including Lerwick, Mavis Grind and near Sandness, with the south end in her sights for the coming week.

The science building at the old Anderson High School. Photo: Shetland News

She also heads out with a GoPro camera before uploading clips on Facebook, giving an insight into life underwater.

The process for the asset transfer from Shetland Islands Council for the old science block, meanwhile, is ongoing.

In addition to church facilities there are plans for a cafe and a soft play area in the building.

“The more we can raise the better,” Mackay said. “There’s also other people from the church that are starting to do things as well.”

The science block is one of the buildings which will survive the demolition at the old Anderson, which started earlier this month.

People can donate to Terri’s Dip a Day in the Month of May challenge here.