A dedicated fundraiser is determined to finish in first place nationally in a swimming challenge.

Archie Turner from Bridport has been taking part in Diabetes UK’s Swim22 after starting swimming for a new year’s resolution.

He said: “I started swimming, but I wasn’t very committed to it. Then in February I found this Diabetes UK challenge and that was to swim the equivalent distance of the English Channel over a three-month period and I thought I could give it a go.

“I signed up and started on February 22 and I was swimming every day and started shedding some weight quite quickly and gathering sponsorship.

“I got to about 14 miles into the challenge and we went into lockdown. I was desperate to swim but had been shouted at by strangers for swimming in the sea during the lockdown, people were telling me I was breaking the law, so I stopped swimming in the sea until after they lifted the lockdown and started again on early mornings in the harbour. I was swimming around half a mile before work.”

The original challenge was to end on May 22 and Archie worked hard to complete the 22 miles on that day, although Diabetes UK has extended the date to October 31. He has so far completed just over 67 miles.

Archie added: “I have so far raised around £2,200 and there’s a local company, Boilerman, who was going to sponsor me £10 a mile, but when I told them I had done 50 miles they said they would have a cheque for £500 to give me, which will put me in third position nationally for fundraising.

“My target is to keep swimming until the end of October and get to 100 miles. My target is to finish, definitely in the top three, but I would like to finish in the number one position for fundraising.

“It has really helped to have something to focus on outside of work and home and it’s really helped with my mental health, being able to swim and reflect on things. It’s helped me with my fitness and weight control as well.”

To help Archie reach his target and to donate, visit https://bit.ly/2EtL2Re