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Crossways youngster swims a mile for the Weldmar fundraising challenge
A YOUNG swimmer has pledged to raise money for people suffering from long-term illnesses in a Dorset Echo-backed campaign.
Francesca House, 12, will swim a mile to help raise funds for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust.
The Dorset charity’s Go for Gold campaign challenges people to achieve a goal and raise money through sponsorship.
Francesca, who lives with her family in Crossways, said: “I really enjoy swimming, but I’ve never swum that far before so it will be an achievement for me.
“I’m very excited as I’ve never done anything like this before.”
The youngster, who trains with West Dorset swimming club the Warriors, will swim a mile, or 64 lengths, before the end of June.
She hopes to raise at least £260 and has already received a £50 donation from Bovington Thrift Shop.
Mum Maria said Francesca was inspired to take part after reading an Echo story about the campaign.
She said: “She asked what she could do to help so I suggested that she challenges herself to swim a mile.
“It’s great that she’s willing to take this on and I’m very proud of her.”
The Dorset Echo is media partner in the campaign, which is aiming to raise funds for the charity’s vital services, including end-of-life and respite care at its Herringston Road headquarters in Dorchester.
The charity also helps carers and family of those suffering from long-term, debilitating illnesses, including cancer, in Dorset, and has a dedicated team of nurses, child support workers and volunteers.
Participants are limited only by their imaginations in coming up with a challenge to raise money for the charity.
The campaign will run until September and an awards ceremony in October will celebrate the achievements of all fundraisers who manage to raise £50 or more.
To help Francesca raise money, visit www.justgiving .co.uk/weldmar and click on Francesca House’s page.
• To get involved in the Go for Gold campaign, first set yourself a challenge you would like to achieve.
Next, get in touch with Weldmar Hospicecare Trust by calling 01305 261800, visiting www.weld-hospice.org.uk/goforgold or by filling out the form on page 15 of today's Echo and sending it to Matt Smith, Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, Joseph Weld Hospice, Herringston Road, Dorchester, DT1 2SL.