It was a cold and wet start to the year for the Cumbria Community Foundation team.

Staff and trustees kickstarted a year-long £250,000 fundraising campaign to celebrate the charity’s 20th anniversary by venturing into the chilly waters of Windermere.

The money raised will go into the Cumbria Fund, which awards more than £100,000 to 50 community projects each year and helps improve the lives of disadvantaged people across Cumbria.

It’s part of a year of special events called Giving Back, Looking Forward, which will celebrate the charity’s achievements to date and encourage the community to get involved in their own fundraising challenges.

Staff have so far raised more than £4,500 for charitable causes across the county.

Annalee Holliday, grants and donor services officer at the foundation, said: “This year is the foundation’s 20th anniversary and we’ve set ourselves the target of raising £250,000 for the Cumbria Fund over the next 12 months.

"We hope that we have inspired other people to set themselves a challenge in 2019 and support the fundraising appeal.”

Some of the charities to benefit from the Cumbria Fund include West Cumbria Domestic Violence Support, Allerdale Disability Association, Carlisle Mencap and Cumbria Deaf Association.

Andy Beeforth, foundation chief executive, said the dip was exhilarating.

"It’s great to do this with the team as we celebrate our 20-year anniversary. The team were very brave, and it was very difficult as the waters were Baltic!

"Thanks to everyone who has donated so far, we have raised an amazing amount of money, which will support community projects across Cumbria.

"We would like to thank Maryport Inshore Rescue and Simon Berry, the High Sherriff of Cumbria and owner of Low Wood Bay Resort & Spa, who supported the team on the day.”

Donations can still be made online at