Downham Market friends take up charity challenge

Best friends Kirsty Carman, left, and Danielle Welham-Smith are completing the Channel Challenge for charity. ANL-161026-214454001
Best friends Kirsty Carman, left, and Danielle Welham-Smith are completing the Channel Challenge for charity. ANL-161026-214454001

Two best friends have undertaken a charity challenge to swim the Channel and row it back again at their local leisure centre.

Danielle Welham-Smith and Kirsty Carman, both from Downham, are currently completing the Channel Challenge together at the Alive Downham Leisure Centre to raise money for two charities.

The pair will swim 22 miles in the swimming pool – the length of the English Channel – and then row 22 miles back on a rowing machine over the course of a number of weeks.

The friends took on the sporting mission after having seen it advertised at the leisure centre to be completed by either swimming or rowing, but they chose to do both and turn it into a fundraising event.

Mrs Welham-Smith decided to complete the task in aid of Cancer Research UK as the cancer charity is close to her heart.

She said: “I lost my mum to cancer in 2008 and not a day goes by where I don’t think about her.”

Mrs Carman is fundraising for the NSPCC children’s charity, which is an important cause to her.

Since they started the challenge a few weeks ago, the best friends have raised more than £500 between them, which is already more than their original targets, and they still have a couple more weeks to go.

They are due to complete their 22 miles in the pool next week and row the 22 miles back in a week after that.

To donate, please visit their fundraising sites, at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Danielle-Welham-Smith and www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kirsty-carman.