Duo swimming the Channel for charity back campaign to save Scartho Baths
THESE adventure-loving friends are going to great lengths to swim the Channel in aid of charity.
But instead of braving freezing seas, Vanessa Marley-Harris and Eleanor Francis are swimming the 22 miles, from Dover to Calais, in Scartho Baths.
It is part of the Aspire Channel Swim 2012, which encourages people to swim 22 miles over 12 weeks in their local pool to raise money for people with spinal injuries.
Care worker Vanessa, 54, from Holton-le-Clay, said: "We were both really inspired by the incredible athletes we saw at the Paralympics and we were at the pool when we saw a leaflet for the Aspire swim.
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"We come swimming regularly anyway, so it made sense for us to have a purpose and support a good cause while we're here.
"We've been doing a mile every time we come and we're more than halfway through already, so we might even have chance to swim the 22 miles back again before the challenge ends on December 2."
As reported, the duo regularly take the plunge for charity, having completed the Great North Swim, in Lake Windermere, and the Great Manchester Swim, in Salford Quays, over the past two years to raise money for When You Wish Upon A Star.
And Eleanor, 31, of Laceby Acres, says they are among the thousands of people backing the campaign to save Scartho Baths – as it is the only place suitable for them to train for their charity challenges.
As reported, North East Lincolnshire Council is set to close the pool in two years' time and a new 25-metre pool to replace it will be created, as part of a £7.5-million project at Grimsby Leisure Centre.
Eleanor added: "Scartho Baths is really the only place where you can actually swim. Cleethorpes is a funny shape and you can't get anywhere at Grimsby Leisure Centre.
"Neither of us can see why it is going to be shut when it is always so busy. We've never been the only people in the pool but there's always plenty of space for everyone.
"I don't see why it can't be upgraded or a larger pool built on the land at the back. It's just the perfect location."
Vanessa said: "I would be devastated if the pool closed. It would be an hour-round trip for me to get to the Willows.
"Scartho Baths is popular with people of all ages and there is no reason to close a facility which is so well used."
Show your support
To sponsor Eleanor and Vanessa, e-mail email@example.com or search for Eleanor on Facebook.
To join the fight to save Scartho Baths, visit www.savescarthobaths.com – and keep checking your Grimsby Telegraph for updates.