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THREE young swimmers were cheered on by Olympian Sharron Davies last week when they took part in a sponsored swim to raise money in memory of their friend, Evie Clover, who died in January after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
Melksham Swordfish Amateur Swimming Club members, Erin Newton, aged 14, Grace Langlands, aged 14, and Lucy Matthews, aged 10, swam three miles between them at Melksham’s Blue Pool.
The girls raised over £750 for Evie’s Gift, the charity set up by Evie’s parents, Bryan and Patsy Clover, that offers support to families whose children have been admitted to hospital with life-threatening or life-limiting conditions.
The event was the idea of Erin, who first met Evie learning to swim at the Blue Pool, before joining the Swordfish Swimming Club together, where they met Grace and Lucy. “I wanted to this because it is hard for parents to stay close to the hospital and manage to afford things when their children are ill,” explained Erin, “It’s good for them to have the support that they need in those times.
“I met Evie when I was about six-years old, so I knew Evie for about eight years. It was really cool to learn to swim with her and then join Swordfish together.”
As well as Olympian Sharron Davies offering her support, the girls were cheered on by friends and family, and by Evie’s parents, Patsy and Bryan.
Patsy said, “It’s absolutely amazing and it’s wonderful that somebody so young has come up with this idea by herself. Nobody asked her to do it, she just decided to do it, which is brilliant.
“It makes me proud of Evie, she must have been highly regarded and highly thought of that Erin, Grace and Lucy wanted to help remember her, support us, support the new charity and honour Evie.
“It’s moments like this that remind me that a void has been left in my life, as these are the children I used to see on a regular basis. You are used to socialising through your child, and that’s gone as well.
“It’s lovely that they are doing this and that Sharron Davies has come as well. It’s very early days still with the charity, but because Evie was a young and vibrant girl, people are embracing it and supporting us.
“The support that we offer is something that is very much needed. It would be wonderful if we could find a huge sponsor to help build another Ronald McDonald House, to provide accommodation for families whilst a child is in hospital – you’ve got to think big!”
For more information about Evie’s Gift, visit: www.eviesgift.org.uk