Saffron Walden youngster joins Ronan Keating and Sir Richard Branson for ‘The Swim’ charity challenge

A 12-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl from Saffron Walden is swapping her satchel for a swimming cap and diving into a spectacular fundraising challenge for Cancer Research UK.

Maddy Delliston, who attends Newport Free Grammar School, is making waves by swimming 56 miles in the local pool to raise money for the charity’s life-saving research.

She decided to take the plunge to support ‘The Swim’, a challenge being attempted by Ronan Keating, Sir Richard Branson and a team of celebrities who are planning to swim 56 miles, in relay, across the Irish Sea to raise �1 million.

Swimming 56 miles is no drop in the ocean but sporty Maddy has had plenty of practice with tests of endurance. She is a member of local swimming, hockey and triathlon clubs and swam the equivalent of the English Channel for charity when she was just nine-years-old.

Maddy, pictured, has already clocked over 15 miles – around 1,000 lengths of the pool – at the Lord Butler Leisure Centre in Saffron Walden and hopes to raise at least �350 to help The Swim team reach their fundraising goal.

Her mum Clare Delliston said: “Maddy loves swimming, and the fact that she can do something that she enjoys so much and raise money for Cancer Research UK at the same time is great.

“Maddy set herself the challenge of swimming 56 miles because this is the distance The Swim relay team will cover in the Irish Sea.

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“Like so many others our family has been affected by cancer. I hope that she inspires lots of other people to get swimming for a great cause.”

Local people can sponsor Maddy to complete her challenge at

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