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Brave Ray raised more than £500 at Hunstanton Christmas Swim

PUBLISHED: 13:28 14 February 2017 | UPDATED: 13:28 14 February 2017

From left, area manager Angelique Bklake, Raymond Harris ansd chief executive Nick Harding. Keith Osborn

From left, area manager Angelique Bklake, Raymond Harris ansd chief executive Nick Harding. Keith Osborn

Keith Osborn

While families were enjoying their Christmas morning, Raymond Harris gave up his and went for a sponsored swim in the North Sea to raise money for CHIPS - a charity set up on behalf of the gaming industry, which aims to provide specialised powered wheelchairs for children with severe mobility problems.

Employee of the month Raymond Harris. Picture: Keith Osborn Employee of the month Raymond Harris. Picture: Keith Osborn

His courageous attitude saw him raise £550 and has just earned him the Employee of the Month title at Praesepe Group, a national leisure services group that employs 1,600 people throughout the UK.

Mr Harris is the venue manager at the Fabulous Showboat on Hunstanton seafront and has worked within the company for 32 years.

Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim. Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim.

Operations manager Steve Ambrose, who nominated Raymond, said: “Raymond thoroughly deserves this award. We encourage all our employees to contribute to charity, but only a few would have the bravery to go for a swim in the sea during winter – especially on Christmas morning.

“He is an excellent manager and, more importantly, a fantastic person who is an example to all of his colleagues.”

Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim. Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim.

Mr Harris was joined by colleagues at the surprise ceremony, where Praesepe Group’s chief executive, Nick Harding, presented him with £250 of high street vouchers, a special Employee of the Month badge and certificate to mark his award.

Mr Harding said: “Raymond’s bravery is a real asset to the company and he sets the example, always exceeding expectations. His efforts are to be commended.”

Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim. Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim.

Parent company Praesepe has donated over £500,000 allowing CHIPS to provide more than 450 powered wheelchairs up and down the country.

CHIPS provides wheelchairs for children who would otherwise have no way of getting around on their own. It funds the wheelchairs that the NHS cannot or will not provide and that the parents cannot afford to buy.

Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim. Scenes from the 2016 Hunstanton Christmas Day swim.

It has raised more than £1m and presented more than 400 wheelchairs to youngsters.

More than 100 swimmers took to the waters of The wash off Hunstanton Prom on Christmas Day. Hundreds more turbned out to cheer them on.

The event has been run for some 50 years and has been organised by the Hunstanton and District Round Table since 1972 to raise money for various charitable causes.

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