A TEAM of six swimmers calling themselves the Stanhope Park Sharks have raised more than £200 for animals in need.

Veterinary nurse Mark Gent, auxiliary nurse Carole Maxwell and practice receptionist Janet Lear, from the Stanhope Park veterinary surgery in Darlington, competed with fellow team members Pippa Williams, Shauneen Henery and Heather Lear at a swimathon at Spennymoor Leisure Centre in May.

The event was organised by the rotary clubs of Sedgefield, Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Spennymoor in connection with the Rotaract Club of Crook and the Lions' Club of Bishop Auckland.

Half of the money raised by the team has been donated to local charities, and the remainder given to the RSPCA's South Durham and North Yorkshire branch.

This was the second year that the veterinary practice has entered a team in the swimathon.

Vanessa Robinson, of the RSPCA, said: "This money will be very helpful for veterinary care and food for the animals in our care. We would like to thank the team very much for their help.

"At the moment we have literally dozens of adult cats which are in desperate need of homes."

If anyone would like to adopt a cat or dog from the RSPCA they should call (01325) 377878.