The daughter of a former mayor of St Neots who died last year is taking to the open water for a sponsored swim.

In May, Vanessa Church, 46, plans to take part in the 1.5km Eton Swim in Dorney Lake, the venue for the rowing and kayaking during the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics.

Her dad, Bob Eaton, who was mayor from 2007-2009 and a staunch supporter of charities, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and was cared for at St John’s Hospice at Moggerhanger.

Mrs Church, of Kempston, is taking the plunge to raise funds for the hospice. “As my dad raised thousands of pounds for charity I want to give something back,” she said.

“Dad was spectacularly brave person who just got on with it. It costs so much for a patient to stay at St John’s, over £3,000 a day, so if I could raise one day’s worth, I would be really happy.”

She added: “I love swimming but this will be the first time ever in open water. Going out of my depth and not being able to see the bottom is going to be a big challenge for me.”
INFORMATION: To support Vanessa, visit www.justgiving.com/Vanessa-Church.