Tilly, 12, to take the plunge for charity

Tilly Richmond and her father Stewart.
Tilly Richmond and her father Stewart.

A schoolgirl from Market Weighton is hoping to make a splash by becoming one of the youngest people ever to take part in the Great North Swim.

Tilly Richmond, aged 12, is currently in training to swim Lake Windermere, where the event is held, on 12 June. She will be joined by her father Stewart.

So far she has raised more than £330 for the veterinary charity PDSA.

She decided to fundraise for the PDSA after their vet undertook emergency surgery on her cat Hector last year to remove an infected eyeball. At the time her mum had lost her job and could not afford a private vet. It would have been cheaper to put him to sleep, but the PDSA operated and saved Hector’s life.

Stewart said: “Tilly is joining me in open water swim training at Allerthorpe Lake. She enjoys surfing but isn’t a particularly strong swimmer and until recently had never done an open water swim before. When she takes part in the Great North Swim at Windermere in June she’ll be hitting the water at the same time as 200 other swimmers. It’s like being caught in a washing machine to begin with and is rather daunting the first time you do it. It’s a big challenge for Tilly, but I’ll be there with her to make sure she doesn’t get into difficulty.”

He added: “We’re all very proud of her.”

Tilly has the full support of her family and The Market Weighton School, which she attends. The PDSA has also sent her a fundraising pack and has covered her story on social media.

If you would like to support Tilly by making a donation, visit her fundraising page: www.justgiving.com/Minikin. You can also sponsor Tilly by texting TILY60 followed by the the amount (e.g. £5) to 70070.