Brendon takes the plunge to help others

Brendon Kershaw doing a sponsored swim for the Hug in a Bag charity
Brendon Kershaw doing a sponsored swim for the Hug in a Bag charity
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Young Brendon Kershaw has been getting in the swim to help a good cause.

The 10-year-old, from Bispham, managed 64 lengths – a whole mile – of Rossall School’s pool in aid of the Hug in a Bag charity.

Bispham Endowed Primary School pupil Brendon raised £500 with the sponsored swim, which will be used to provide 10 special bags for patients diagnosed with breast cancer at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

He was delighted to have completed his challenge, especially when the charity’s patron, singing star Linda Nolan, surprised him by turning up at the pool to cheer him on.

Each of the charity’s bags is aimed to provide a “virtual hug” to people at a difficult time and contains pampering gifts such as a pashmina, beauty and cosmetic treats, a cushion and a teddy bear called Hugo.

When Brendon heard about the work Hug in a Bag does from family friend Debbie Marr – who together with friend Jacqueline Rhodes started up the cause – he decided he wanted to do something to help.

His proud mum Jodie said: “Debbie was talking about Hug in a Bag when we were all together having a Chinese one night, and Brendon just said ‘I’ll raise some money for you.’

“We were all a bit taken aback, but really pleased.

“He did everything himself. He came up with the idea of a sponsored swim and asked his swimming teacher if he could do it. She allowed him to train before lessons too, which was great. He even made the sponsor forms himself and asked neighbours, family and friends to sponsor him.

“He swam 64 lengths, in 50 minutes and 20 seconds, which is pretty fast-going and raised £500.

“Initially, he set himself the target of raising enough to buy two bags. But he managed to raise enough for 10 bags.

“We are all so proud of him, he did fantastically well.

“And it’s lovely he wanted to do it, so thoughtful. I think he has the fundraising bug and we are more than happy to support him in his efforts.”

Debbie Marr added: “We are over the moon with Brendon’s sponsored swim.

“For a young lad of his age to think of others in this way and plan the event himself, is just wonderful. It really made his day when Linda Nolan came along to support him too. We are over the moon.”