Morecambe teen’s swim challenge for hospice

Bryony Simssen, from Morecambe, will take part in the Great North Swim in aid of St John's Hospice.
Bryony Simssen, from Morecambe, will take part in the Great North Swim in aid of St John's Hospice.

A teenager with Down Syndrome is taking on her biggest challenge yet in aid of St John’s Hospice.

Bryony Simssen, from Morecambe, will take part in the Great North Swim for the Slyne Road charity.

The 19-year-old will swim one mile in open water at the Great North Swim at Brockhole, Lake Windermere on June 9.

“It’s something different in life, isn’t it?” said Byrony, commenting on her reasons why she is taking on the challenge.

“The hospice is a local charity and it is important to my family, so I want to raise as much as I can.”

Bryony’s mum, Theresa, is so proud of her daughter’s determination and desire to help a local charity close to their hearts.

“My father died at St John’s in 1995 and they also cared for two of my aunts before they died,” said Theresa.

“It really is a very special place.

“Although Bryony never knew her grandfather, she knows the great work the hospice do, and is always talking about how she might fundraise for them.

“Her sponsored walks in the past have all been her own idea, and so too has the swim.

“She is a very determined young woman when she puts her mind to it and I couldn’t be more proud of the way she has given herself to this challenge.

“She has already swum half a mile indoors, and she is excited to keep pushing so she is ready for the full mile in June. “Thankfully, her brother Rupert and his girlfriend Lauren will be coming up from London to swim with her on the day; I’m terrified of the water myself so I’m no use to her at all!”

The family have secured support from Ian Bailey at The Runner’s Centre in Lancaster and from Ceri Smith, Swimming Coach from The Aquatic Body, thanks to Lisa Morgan, community fundraiser at the hospice.

The Runner’s Centre has donated a wetsuit and Ceri Smith has also offered open water swimming lessons for free.

“Ceri has even offered to swim with her on the day,” said Lisa.

“Both Ian and Ceri were in awe of Bryony’s determination.” If you have been inspired by Bryony’s story, and would like to donate, go to www.sjhospice.org.uk/bryony.