Chiltern girls swim 400 lengths to raise money for MND and Parkinsons

Chiltern schoolgirls Connie and Ella set themselves a challenge to do something to help people with MND and Parkinson's, heading to the swimming pool in January to swim 400 lengths, and raising 2,800 pounds for the two charities in the process.

"They decided to arrange the event as both Connie’s nana and grandad suffer from Parkinson’s and MND respectively. They chose swimming as they both swim for a club and wanted to put their main skill to the  endurance test," said Helen, Connie's Mum.

The keen swimmers handled the first 200 lengths comfortably enough but the third set of 100 lengths saw the girls fighting very sore shoulders. "They were pleased to see their dads turn up to spur them on with the final 100 lengths," said Laura.  The girls refused to let the distance beat them and: "For the final 50 we were walking up and down to keep them going!" Helen added.

Connie and Ella were understandably elated after they'd finally conquered the challenge and afterwards enjoyed the treat of worthy champions -- pizza and chocolate cake."We posted regular updates on Facebook and support was overwhelming. The company who both my husband and I, plus Ella’s dad work for,  also contributed an additional £750. Connie’s nana and grandad were very touched and emotional about the girls' achievement,"  said Helen.

Helen said Ella and Connie very much appreciated the support of both Parkinson's UK and the MND group and would recommend the use of social media to gain support and sponsorship. And the athletes had some motivating advice to anyone else thinking of organising a fund raising event: "Make a difference. Pick something aspirational and train hard."

Words by Keiron Henderson - Volunteer writer

MND Connect helpline

mndconnect 0808 802 6262