Youngsters make a splash in swimming fundraiser

Three 12-year-old girls have made a fundraising splash after swimming for five hours and completing nine miles each for good causes.

The three girls, Bethany Saunders, of Higham Ferrers, with Emer Wintsch, and Ellen Watson, both of Northampton, completed 510 lengths, a total of nine miles per swimmer, to raise £1,400 for Brainstrust and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

The swim took place on Saturday, August 11, at Rushden Splash Pool, swimming from 8am to 1.30pm.

Bethany’s second cousin is 22-year-old Matthew Pinnock, who has an inoperable brain tumour, and after being diagnosed earlier this year, has been staying at Cynthia Spencer hospice in Northampton.

Brainstrust helps families whose loved ones have brain tumours and has supported the Pinnocks.

Bethany’s mum, Adele, 39, of Ullswater Close, Higham Ferrers, said: “It’s a massive achievement for the girls to swim non-stop for five hours, and all for charity.

“It was the girls who approached us with the idea to raise money for the charity, they have all been touched by Matthew’s story.

“Watching them so determined to achieve the feat has made me really proud. They’ve been fantastic.”

The girls all go to Northampton High School and are members of the town’s swimming club.

Speaking as she swam her last lengths, Bethany said: “It’s been really hard but I’m determined to finish it. It’s been fun.”

Matthew Pinnock’s nan, Joan Dix, was at the pool watching the girls carry out their fundraiser.

She said: “It’s great seeing the girls do this, especially as they are so young. We’re all proud of them. Matthew is trying very hard, he’s a fighter.”